Jesus or the Pharisees on the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?

Scofield mites of the conservative resurgence say that Jesus made a mistake in coming originally to preach the kingdom of God. Who are you going to believe, the Pharisees or Jesus?

CHAPTER 6     “Kingdom” in the New Testament

NOTE: This is chapter 6 of “THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL, volume 3 of the Learn Christ Commentaries. If after reading you are interested in more from the 14 letters of the Apostle Paul, here at the bottom you will find 3 ways you can get the book besides the free download in PDF from sungrist.org.

The title above we will temporarily borrow from a combination or two or more of the 12 major subjects in our outline of the Bible, although in the course of the development of this chapter on Hebrews and Romans we may desire to modify it somewhat. I hope, at least, it is no surprise to you that we are treating in this chapter, the book of Hebrews and Romans as almost one Gospel according to Paul, the first with an emphasis for the Hebrews and the second with an emphasis for the Gentiles.

6-1:  Where we Have Found Similarities in Hebrews and Romans.

I think you have come to appreciate the similarities between the Gospel in Hebrews and Romans, even as to the Gospel in Isaiah, as we have amassed the passages of such similarity, a short reminder of which is listed below.

Our last discussion of the One Baptism arguments of Hebrews 6 at the end of the previous chapter where Crucifying Christ only once is part of the One Baptism, and how similar that is to a similar lawyer-like discussion of Romans 6 where death and resurrection are only once.  Of course, the Bible admits and presents many baptism as “doctrine of baptisms” in Hebrews 6:2, while finally coming based on the extensive arguments of Hebrews and Romans to the One Baptism, an equivalent for salvation, of Ephesians 4:5.

Paul’s criticism, critical but something he also had experienced, in Romans 2 of the Jews in arrogantly claimed to be teachers to the world while they blasphemed God, is similar to the babes in Christ that should be teachers of the first principles of God of Hebrews 5 and 6.

Based on the total internal evidence of the Bible, and this evidence to anyone who will put in the effort to check it, both Hebrews and Romans rely very heavily on quotes from the two large books of the OT, Isaiah and Psalms.

We are still startled by the fact that although in most of Paul’s books, he quotes from the Old, most heavily in the first ten, he quotes from Isaiah only in Hebrews and Romans.  Does that tie Hebrews and Romans together as a sufficient commentary or interpretation on salvation in Isaiah, or Isaiah period.

In the 12 major point outline of the whole Bible, three of those 12 are dominated by Isaiah as quoted in Hebrews and Romans.  In other words, approximately one-fourth of the Bible story, when you look at the total in topical outline form based on the sequencing of the OT books, is covered by a combination of Isaiah leading into Romans and Hebrews.  Perhaps we should call this chapter, “The Gospel of Isaiah according to Hebrews and Romans.”  You recall those three headings:  (9) The Salvation of God; (10) What happened to the Jews as the chosen people of God; and (11) The New King of the New Israel.

And we will find many more such similarities as we get into the details of Hebrews and Romans in this chapter.  {And to think that some academics and falsely called scholars simply because the have a Ph.D. or Th.D. and belong to the Jesus Seminar–unlike the definition of scholarship as in Emerson’s “The American Scholar”, these foolish victims of men’s wisdom while ignoring the internal evidence of both books, deny that the Apostle Paul wrote Hebrews based on his address to the Jewish synagogues, or that Paul wrote it at all. How foolish!  And I hope that I can be used by God to show once again how “the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God”!}

6-2:  Methods of the Making of History by God.

When we say that “God works in marvelous ways, His wonders to perform” we are saying that we do not comprehend completely the way and ways that God works through history, one of those most significant ways is in the guidance that God performed in the writing of the Book of 66 books called the Bible.  I think you are coming to appreciate how little we have previously understood of how the Ascended Christ in Arabia chose Paul to be chief editor of the NT, writing 14 of the 27 book of the NT and sponsoring with endowed manuscripts 3 more; and beyond that, Paul being personally aware of his own role as a prime custodian in the nation of Israel entrusted as custodians of the oracles of God, used many academic and lawyer-like tricks {these are tricks in a good sense of the word since they were under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit of Christ, on the way from God and Christ}, in his methodology of writing.  There is not only good evidence that during those so-called 7 silent years at Tarsus, and you know Paul recently converted and on fire with the Gospel and the instructions from Jesus in Arabia not to be the idle type, not only listed a manuscript or manuscripts for all the Old Testament quotes to be included in the NT, but perhaps even wrote the major body of most of the 17 books.  Also included in the manuscripts would be the testimonies of Peter and James to the life of Christ.  You see, this is one reason that I had treat seriously the efforts of Bishop Ussher or any other “scholar” to date the writings of the letters of the Apostle Paul.  They tend to confuse between original writing, editing, distribution, and publication.  It is far better to sequence the 14 letters from Paul in terms of the most numerous quotes from the OT coming down to a summary of the first ten in Ephesians; and with Colossians, Philippians, and Philemon a change from quoting to paraphrasing of the rest of the Bible, his own Scriptures and those of the OT and of other Apostles.  It is maintained that this was his major job, far beyond the significance of even his missionary journeys which we can now see in hindsight.  In other words, Paul through the Bible has influenced far more people than the Gentile world of the Roman Empire of whom he touched a few.

You will have to admit that Paul was quite secretive and subtle about his mythological in the writing of Scriptures; but after all the early Christians were enemies of the State, and any thing written by them, especially by an Apostle, would be considered as subversive.  The Roman Empire and government, even the religious leaders of the Jewish people who killed Jesus, would not be sympathetic to the prime contribution of the Jewish people as custodians of the Oracles of God.  Like Jesus said, what one of the prophets of the OT did the Hebrews not persecuted.  The writings of the Word of God were never popular, except briefly during a short revival, among the people of Israel.  And further more, why would the Apostle Paul add to his own defense as an Apostle of Jesus, out of due time, the additional burden that Jesus placed on him as a chief editor of the NT.  Furthermore why would he need to tell the people, perhaps only Peter who bore testimony to the fact that Paul wrote Scriptures hard to understand, what he was doing during the 7 silent years at Tarsus.  He did ask Timothy to go by Tarsus to pick up the book and manuscripts with a cloak for winter, and to ask Timothy to bring Mark who was profitable to him for the ministry {the ministry is obvious that as chief editor and since he is about to be a martyr, Paul needs John Mark to write the rest of the Old Testament quotes in a Gospel of Mark and Luke, who is still with him, to write Luke and Acts–you see Paul would have recorded in a lawyer-like fashion a log of the missionary journeys}.  Besides, if the Roman opposition knew the plan of God and the plan given to Paul by Christ for all of those 17 books to come together as a NT Canon, with the 39 books they quoted from of the OT, then go beyond the Empire in influence and time, they would have–like those who claim to be gods should–work more diligently to destroy both the letters and the plan.  {I am not even sure that Satan, the prince of this world and the power of supernatural destruction, knew the potential for good and the Gospel that the letters would have as they came together as a Bible, a Canon of Old and New Testaments.  That is, until at least more recently, say within the last three hundred or so years as he like all has seen the Bible go in written form, with the Gospel, to every nation in the world; and it is through the tares of the churches and the kingdom, both academics and non-academics, that he has increasing waged spiritual terrorism as the enemy, as Jesus told in the parable of the tares and wheat, that has put the tares in the field of the kingdom.}  It is out now; and Satan through teachers with “itching ears” is heaping up a vast fortress and army of tare-teachers to give the other tares what they desire as they become intolerant of sound doctrine, and to deceive, if possible, even the elected wheat of God.  And if you can not, based on the parable that Jesus told and explained on the tares and the wheat, see that Satan is the enemy that puts the tares of spiritual terrorism in the churches and in the larger kingdom, then you have missed a deep, Biblical understanding of the Falling Away, and this probably means that you have even neglected completely the doctrine of the Falling Away as part of the Bible.  Certainly, your preachers and teachers have neglected it!

I am going to make another hypothesis here that we will test in the coming chapters; and this is that a thread of continuity to what Paul wrote, and in what he passed on to John Mark and Dr. Luke, is centered around the word and concepts of the “kingdom of God”.  Granted that while “kingdom” is not a dominant word of the writings of Paul like “believe”, “righteousness”, “faith”, law, works, and even “baptism” and “doctrine”, it is a persistent word like a thread that runs throughout all of his 14 books.  Well really, the word “kingdom” per se is only in 9 of the 14 books from Paul:  Romans 14:17 where the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; I Corinthians 4:20 where the kingdom of God is not in words but power; I Corinthians 6:9 where the kind of sinners including the unbelievers are identified as those who can not inherit the kingdom of God; 15:24 where Christ delivers up the kingdom of God to the Father in order that the Father might be all in all; 15:50 where flesh and blood only without the prerequisite 9 month new birth can not inherit the kingdom of God; Galatians 5:21 where any Gentile that does such things so identified by the Apostle, and recognize as works of those without the salvation personal experience, do not have any inheritance in the kingdom of God, with or without a Falling Away or any claims of a re-crucifixion of Christ like the false doctrine of Methodists of falling from grace {and perhaps this is one reason Baptists have been scared away from the Bible doctrine of the Falling Away}; Ephesians 5:5 where those who have not properly learned Christ, by hearing Him personally and being instructed by Him personally, have not inheritance in the kingdom of God; Colossians 1:13, of course being a parallel of Ephesians, where God has translated or conveyed us into the kingdom of “the Son of His love”; Colossians 4:11 where some of Paul’s only fellow workers in the kingdom of God are listed {by the way, if we had time in this commentary, and the time for the proper research, the many names that Paul lists in his books would be another subtle way, especially when cross referenced from book to book and with Acts, to show consistently in the writings of Paul–of course, immediately we see the importance of John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, and how he is to be welcomed even though the first churches knew of his desertion during the first missionary journey; and of course, good ole faithful Dr. Luke is mentioned also as always with Paul, and how Paul honored by making him the author of two books of the NT, Luke and Acts}; I Thessalonians 2:12 where church members there are encouraged to walk and live worthy of the God who called them into His kingdom and glory; II Thessalonians 1:5 where a similar argument is made of being worthy of the kingdom of God, something that surrounded by tares in our present day kingdom and churches, we also must heed, making some efforts to separate and disassociate ourselves from such enemies of Christ in the churches; II Timothy 4:1 where the twin encouragements to “Preach the Word” are made–first because of the inevitability of Jesus Second Coming and Second Appearance to Judge the living and dead, called at “His appearing and His kingdom” {while Jesus established His kingdom as the kingdom of God while on the earth the first time, it will become obvious as He rules as King over that kingdom at the Second Appearance}; II Timothy 4:18 where Paul, facing trial and execution knows that God will according to His will and plan either preserve Paul as He has done many times previously and as recorded in the book of Acts, or God will make sure that the real Paul is “preserved” for God’s “heavenly kingdom”; Hebrews 1:8 where God at the same time He announces Jesus as His Son, telling all the angels to worship Jesus as such, tells about the scepter of Christ’s kingdom, a scepter of righteousness–explaining that as a habit of Jesus whereby He loves righteousness and hates lawlessness; Hebrews 11:33 is more the secular use of the word kingdom, like many of those in the book of kingdoms of Daniel, where men and women of faith, the many witnesses of acts of faith that surround us like a cloud, subdue “kingdoms”–of course, the major reference to which Paul would be speaking as a lawyer extremely familiar with his own nation’s history would be the kingdoms conquered by the Israelites after they developed during 80 years sufficient faith to subdue, also perhaps the victories of Saul, David, and Solomon; and finally in Hebrews 12:28 where “we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken” when the whole earthly kingdom and universe of earth and sky are completely shaken at the end of this age.  By way of summary, we would have to say that the kingdom of God and of Christ was always in the mind of Paul; and knowing that Jesus teachings had thorough covered the concepts of the kingdom, except for what the Apostle John would add later in Revelation, almost left alone a thorough definition of the kingdom, except in what he left for John Mark to write Mark and Dr. Luke to write Luke and Acts, and what in many cases was based on the OT quotes that Paul left for them.

6-3:  Last Word on the “Kingdom” from John in the book of Revelation.

We should be excited to know the bottom line of the Bible about the “kingdom of God and of Christ” in the book of Revelation.  Surely with the emphasis on Revelation on “last things” or eschatology, it will be talking about the finalized form of the kingdom.  {Aren’t you also curious to see whether it will be called in Revelation, the kingdom of God or the kingdom of Christ.}  If we were to try to trace the development in the Bible of the kingdom of God concept, of course we would look to Daniel and the book of Psalms.  It is Daniel, the statesman of Babylon and Persia, who presents the rise and fall of major kingdoms like Persia, Greece, and Rome; but primarily establishes the kingdom of the “Son of Man” {a favorite name for Christ} in its finalized form, “Then to Him {the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven} was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages shall serve Him.”  (7:13,14)}  With the establishment of the everlasting kingdom {the word of Daniel is “dominion”} which shall never pass away (7:14), we see the kingdom of God in its ultimate and finalized form, the same form we know from I Corinthians 15 to be where Christ delivers the kingdom to God the Father in order that God may be all in all.  Can the book of Revelation really go further than that, or does the Ascended Christ and the Apostle John desire to go beyond that in Revelation since there has to primarily be a message of comfort and encouragement for those undergoing the Great Tribulation.  {The Great Tribulation, that period of Matthew 24 foretold by Jesus, as a time that none of the elect would survive except by the shortening of God, was in the first few centuries, but the Final Tribulation, both of which have some similar characteristics, is near the end of the age during the Falling Away, a tribulation that is as much natural, and on all inhabitants, as the universe disintegrates, as the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from the earth allowing Satan to be loosed, as the power of the holy people is completely shattered, and of course, the believing wheat will suffer mentally and spiritually as the love of the many tares waxes cold and sin abounds.}

For the Apostle John like Paul, the “kingdom of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:9)was an assumption like water, bread, or light.  When John identifies Himself, His location, and what happened to him in exile on the isle of Patmos, he does so as “I John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ” because he preached the Word of God and gave the testimony of Jesus.  John as those to whom he wrote were companions in the tribulation, something of which during this period it would be impossible to ignore since they were hunted down, tortured, and killed like animals; and at least equal with the tribulation was the concept of the kingdom, here called the kingdom of Jesus Christ.  {Of course we also know it to be the kingdom of Christ way back in Daniel, although Son of Man is used instead of Christ.  However we know during the life and teachings of Jesus on earth about the kingdom, from Jesus it was primarily the kingdom of God; and by the way Jesus also often referred to Himself as the Son of Man.}

Okay since in the next we jump to Revelation 11:15, and we know that to record the most end of all end events, we expect to see the kingdom in finalized form, wondering whether it will be called the kingdom of God or of Christ.  {It is almost the same since inevitably according to II Corinthians, Christ will turn the reign all over to God the Father.}  And indeed what we do see here, in settled form although still in our future, is the very act of the kingdoms of this world being turned over to the “kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ”.  {Notice that both are mentioned, and that this is at the sounding of the final and seventh trumpet!}

When we come to look at kingdom in Revelation 12:10, it is the “kingdom of God”, in other words already delivered by Christ to the Father; and you must appreciate the time scale jumps in these last few chapters of Revelation.  It is more like the time perspective of God Himself where the future and past intermingle, where something already settled in heaven is as good as settled on earth, and one day is a thousand years and vice versa, and what is happening in heaven or has happened intermingles with earth.  Satan and His angels war with Michael and his angels, the end result is that Satan and His angels are cast out of heaven.  Recall that at the beginning of chapter 12 the war is announced between the seed of the woman and Satan, the same war predicted in Genesis 3:15 where Satan bruises the heel of Christ and Christ bruises his head, a war that continues until the end of the age; but the victory of the kingdom of God and “the power of His Christ” is assured at the very moment of the Crucifixion as this act cast down Satan, along with the work of the angel Michael in heaven, from day and night being an accuser of “our brethren”.

The reference to kingdom in Revelation 16:10 is in the middle of the final dis-integration of this earth, with judgments of the fifth bowl of darkness and pain, where the kingdom of the beast becomes a kingdom of darkness.

In Revelation 17:10 the mention of kings and kingdom is an earthly and secular matter, initially for 10 kings or Caesars of Rome, of course called Babylon for any large and wicked city; but which in the final sweep of time, must be other large and wicked cities of the world.  And 17:17 is similar with the awesome warning that the kings of these kingdoms are under the control of God in that He in order to fulfill His own purpose as the Great Maker of History, has put in their hearts and made them of one mind to give their kingdom to the beast, Satan, until the fulfillment of all the end time words of God.

6-4:  “Kingdom” in Luke with guidance from Paul.

First Words from Jesus on the Kingdom of God as Paul guided Luke to Write.  Matthew, where kingdom is mentioned 54 times, or Luke where kingdom is mentioned 44 times {and this would be very close like Mark to the direction of Paul} could be chosen to clarify the teachings of Jesus on the kingdom. We will take a quick look at Luke since his writing was also under the guidance of the Apostle Paul.  In Luke 1:33 the same angel Gabriel sent to Daniel was sent to Nazareth and to the virgin Mary to announce the birth of Jesus, about Whom Gabriel said:  (1) He will be great; (2) He will be called the Son of the Highest; (3) the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David {you know we must later look at Psalms from David to see about this kingdom of David since we know all too well that Jesus refused to set up a secular throne in Palestine exactly like the secular throne of David}; (3) He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and (4) “of His kingdom there will be no end.”  In Luke 4:5 we are astounded that Satan has the power to take Jesus up on a high mountain and “in a moment of time” show Him all the kingdoms of this world; in 4:43 it is the “kingdom of God” which Jesus says that He must preach to all cities since that was the very purpose for which God sent Him {this is interesting, preach not the gospel of the kingdom of God as Mark begins, but to PREACH THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and how much preaching of the kingdom of God do you hear today? You hear church, you hear denomination, but no kingdom of God–how strange the way our Gospel has drifted from the preaching and teaching of Jesus Himself, it must be part of the Falling Away}; in 6:20 Jesus pronounces the blessing on the poor in the Sermon on the Mount as they are the unique recipients of what, “the kingdom of God”; in Luke 7:28 we see how there was a definite change in the kingdom of God between the last OT Prophet, John the Baptist, and during the teaching and preaching of Jesus like here where He says that even “the least in the kingdom of God” is greater that this among the greatest Prophets–simply because something has happened on earth with the presence there of Jesus {the least or last in the kingdom have become greater than the greatest of the Old Testament, no doubt in benefits}; afterwards in 8:1 Jesus went into every city and village preaching the “glad tidings” of what, “the glad tidings of the kingdom of God” {can we not again today regain the preaching and teaching of these same glad tidings of the kingdom of God, even using that word over church or denomination, instead of this current assault heaped up on our ears by the vast throng of itching ears Bible teachers}; in 8:10 Jesus teaches in parables for the Semi-Public as He wants us to know “the mysteries of the kingdom of God” {do you really and sincerely think that there is any less need in this day of vast churches and denominations for us to know the mysteries of the kingdom itself, you see we must wonder about some of these churches and denominations, especially during the Falling Away, but we know the kingdom of God to be of God and of Christ, Amen!}; in 9:2 we read what Jesus sent out the 12 disciples to do, (1) “preach the kingdom of God”, and (2) heal the sick {can we as disciples today preach anything less:  you know somehow we have a concept of historical evolution which tells us falsely that we have so developed in our denominations, that we no longer need to act like Jesus and the disciples–that we have gone beyond that, and that is a large lie from Satan}; in Luke 9:11 that is what Jesus did, He spoke to the multitude about the “kingdom of God” and healed the sick; in Luke 9:27 we have a visual of the kingdom of God, something is going to happen on this earth and during the time Christ is here that will truly mark the real beginning of the kingdom of God on earth, a time in which the least can become greater than the greatest, and since Jesus a few verses before is talking about His death and resurrection, that must place us in the same time zone; and of course, we are somewhat led astray when the verse just before that speaks of the Second Coming since now we know that none of these disciples have lived long enough to see the Second Coming–so we wait and look for more in Luke and the rest of the Bible on the kingdom of God, suspecting, of course, that the reference is to the Coming of the Holy Spirit in great power and glory on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, the beginning of the last days and the real time on earth when Satan was bound by the presence here in a large way; in Luke 9:60 called another disciple beyond the 12 telling him to “go and preach the kingdom of God”, so that so far we have Jesus preaching the kingdom of God, the 12 apostles sent out to preach the kingdom of God, and now additional disciples sent out to preach the kingdom of God—at some point we must identify, and I hope Paul like in so many other things on the details of doctrine will help us there, what exactly do you preach when you preach the kingdom of God–in other words, we want an outline of the kingdom of God; in Luke 9:62, the preaching of the kingdom of God is more important than attendance at funerals or at preaching funerals; Luke 10:9,11 as Jesus teaches 70 disciples what to do tells them also to heal the sick and to tell the people “the kingdom of God has come near you”, so that we know the kingdom of God to be very close–we have progressed from Old Testament Prophets the last of which was John the Baptist, to nearness now of the kingdom, and to those who will see the kingdom of God on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension with the initiation of 3,000 new members into the kingdom; in Luke 11:2 we now what the way we are taught by Jesus to pray that the “kingdom of God” has not yet come, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, and that the coming of the kingdom of God in the fulness on earth can not be done until the will of God is done by every remaining soul; in Luke 11:17 it is a reference to a characteristic of every kind of kingdom, secular and spiritual, in that if it is divided against itself it can not stand; in Luke 11:18 Satan also has a kingdom, unfortunately his kingdom of tares is less divided than the kingdom of God where the tares grow with the wheat {“the children of this world are wiser than the children of light”}; in Luke 11:20 the kingdom of God has actually come upon Jesus’ generation to the extent that Jesus uses “the finger of God” to cast out demons; in Luke 12:31 we are to seek first and by way of priority over things, the kingdom of God, and by the way God’s righteousness {so I think we have a real key to how to preach the kingdom of God, by preaching God’s righteousness, and something we know especially in Romans, even in Hebrews, that Paul did very well}; in Luke 12:32 Jesus tells His children not to fear as it is the pleasure of God to give us the kingdom–and this is far more we must note than spiritual, no doubt alluding to some of the benefits of the new kingdom in the new earth under the new heavens and with at least visits to the new Jerusalem; in Luke 13:18 Jesus tries to get us closer to an understanding of the kingdom by talking about what it is like–it is like the small mustard seed that grows into a large tree; in Luke 13:20 another likeness to the kingdom, like leaven hidden in a much large measure of meal which it leavens all of; in Luke 13:28 you see the kingdom of God as where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the Prophets are now and will be when those listening die have the opportunity to see them but not be with them; in Luke 13:29 men will come from the east and west to sit down together in the kingdom of God after the end of this age, but also during the time when believers pass away like as Abraham and the Prophets; in Luke 14:15 someone not identified mentions the blessing of breaking bread in the kingdom of God, and I am afraid it is Judas Iscariot, since Jesus quickly tells the parable of the Great Supper where many are invited and make excuses not to come and then the invitation goes out to compel the general public to come in–no doubt, the first that are personally invited are the Jews and the second that are compelled at the Gentiles as we know from Daniel, and Jesus explanations, that shortly after the Messiah was cutoff, Israel was also cutoff; in Luke 16:16 we have another major division of time like that of John the Baptist as the last Prophet and the least in the kingdom greater than John, in that the two divisions now are (1) the time of the law and the prophets right up until John and (2) the preaching of the kingdom of God from that time on with everyone pressing to get into the kingdom of God; and in Luke 17:20 the Pharisees asked a very good question as to “WHEN THE KINGDOM OF GOD WOULD COME?”  Jesus’ answer should help us!

“The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!  For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”  (Luke 20,21)

In Luke 18:16 identifies two characteristics of future members of the kingdom of God:  (1) they all have certain child like characteristics in the sense of being led around by God and Christ, or we might say shepherded or even Lorded over; and (2) they all must have the same kind of faith of a little child, trusting and simple and without reservations.  In Luke 18:24 it is hard for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God because they trust in their riches more than in God; in Luke 18:29 those who lose relatives and land and houses for the kingdom of God in this life shall receive more of them and also eternal life in the life to come; in Luke 19:11 Jesus tells a parable of the “minas” {sometimes called talents} to counter what the people of Jerusalem thought about the kingdom of God, “because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately”; and again Jesus is telling the Jews, especially the Jerusalem over which He wept, that the minas given to them shall be taken away and given to the Gentiles with the bottom line of “those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them” (19:27) to be slain before Christ.

In Luke 21:10 as near the end of the life of Jesus draws near and the time allowed for teaching except for the 40 days of appearances after His resurrection, we would expect that if the teachings of the kingdom of God are that important, Jesus will tells us much more; and indeed we do come to many of the eschatological teachings of Jesus, first in 21:10 of the more immediate secular kingdom against secular kingdom which will continue to the end of the Age, then in 21:31 a time for disciples to know that the kingdom of God is near {of course in the sense of the Second Coming of Christ}, those signs like the fruit of the fig tree have previously been identified by Jesus as the sun darkened, the moon, the stars, chaos and distress between nations with the shaking of heaven and earth, second in 22:16 during the Lord’s Supper that Jesus will no longer eat of the Passover until the kingdom of God is fulfilled.

“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will not longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 22:15,16)

The key word is “fulfilled” for the kingdom of God which although inside us now is completed at the Second Coming of Christ.  Of course, it keeps get fuller and fuller and nearer and nearer during the life of Christ, with the three thousand saved in a single day on the first day of Pentecost after the Ascension, and on through the thousands of years until today, no doubt the growth of which will be slowed down during the Falling Away as the power of the holy people is completely shattered, and there will be a period of refinement; but I am sure, some measure of continued growth event though the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from the earth, the only remaining Holy Spirit being in the heart of believers, however after the Second Coming as all believers are gathered by the angels across the universe, there will be a vast multitude that no man can number of kingdom members.

What did we miss of Luke on the kingdom?  Luke 22:29 where the 12 apostles {a slight modification, of course, after Judas fell by transgression} will each receive a kingdom like Jesus does from God.  They will sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel at the time when the first shall become last, and vice versa, the least the greatest, and vice versa.  Beware, you TV performers of taking for yourselves the great places in the kingdom, and you of large churches and denominational leadership, beware of taking the first places, you just very well can be in the kingdom of God not only a castaway tare but also the least and the last.  And the Joseph of Arimathea, a council member of the Sanhedrin, a just and good man, who dissented in his vote to put Jesus to death also provided a tomb for the body of Jesus is identified by Dr. Luke as a man who “was also waiting for the kingdom of God”

(23:51)

6-5:  Checking the OT quotes in Luke for the concept of the Kingdom.

We know that the primary influence Paul would have on Dr. Luke in the writing of Luke would be in the manuscripts left him, and there primarily in a listing of OT quotes to be included in his version of the Gospel.  Just before we pass from Luke to Acts, we should also briefly check the OT quotes in Luke for what concepts could legitimately be in the mind of the people from the OT when Jesus taught them.  We already know from the start of Luke with the announcement of the birth of Jesus by Gabriel to Mary that the kingdom of Jesus would have no end.  {By the way we already know from the book of Revelation that “dominion”, also from Daniel, is an alternative word for kingdom, and we should consider others.}  If we look through the Tables of the Appendix, our OT book outline of the Bible, checking for Luke references.

The everlasting covenant of God with Abraham that included the land of Palestine for the Jews forever in Luke 1:67-73 and from Genesis 17:7.  Although they broke the covenant with God, and besides the several captivities as temporal punishment were banned for the kingdom of God shortly after the cutoff of the Messiah, the covenant of the land remains theirs both through time and primarily after the Second Coming with the 12 apostles shall rule there over the 12 tribes. We have here a prophecy by Zacharias, father of John the Baptist {if John the Baptist was the last OT Prophet then Zacharias was the next-to-the-last}, as he was filled with the Holy Spirit, and as we would expect with other words this will give us much insight into the concept of the kingdom of God.  (1) The Lord God of Israel, about Jesus and John the Baptist, has visited and redeemed His people; (2) God raised up a “horn of salvation” from the house of His servant David; (3) God since the world began spoke through His holy Prophets that “we” should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us {we do not now yet as to how much Zacharias understood of the enemies, of the real people of God, and of the real nature of the kingdom}; (4) God is going to perform the “mercy” promised to our fathers, to remember His holy covenant {and surely Zacharias must have had in mind how the Prophets had changed the nature, at God’s instructions, to include Gentiles and to include a new inward heart to fulfill righteousness}; (5) Being delivered from their enemies, they might serve God in righteousness and holiness before Him all the days of our lives {so certainly Zacharias knows enough of the OT to recognize the benefits to be eternal, perhaps also that the real enemies are sin, Satan, death, and separation from God}; (6) Zacharias points to his son John as the last Prophet of the Highest who will precede the Lord and prepare His way to give knowledge of salvation {that has to include the kingdom if it gives knowledge of salvation, also of righteousness} to His people, and by the remission of sins; and (7) guide their feet in the way of peace, certainly that peace is the way of the kingdom.

Luke and Jesus quote from Isaiah 6:9, “seeing they may not see and hearing they may not hear”, after Jesus explains that only disciples are to understand the deepest secrets of the kingdom, called “mysteries”; and only the secrets in that God had not made it fully known.

Certainly a King requires a kingdom, but to what extent were the multitude of disciples that Luke writes about in Luke 19:38 correct is saying because of the mighty works they had seen, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!”  And they must have been right because some of the Pharisees called from the crowd for Jesus to rebuke His disciples, Jesus replied that if they were silent the stones themselves would cry out.

The stone which the builders rejected, selected by God as the chief corner-stone, Jesus quoted from Psalm 118:22, could be a chief cornerstone of a kingdom as well as of a temple.  If we look in the context of Psalm 118:22, David does mention “nations”, “gates”, and the nation of Israel.

While neither king nor kingdom are mentioned in Luke 20:42,43 as Jesus quotes from Psalm 110:1 in order for the LORD God with the Lord Jesus to sit on an implied throne there has to be a kingdom for both, and when God through David and with the repeat of Jesus says that He is going to make the enemies of Christ a footstool, that of course implies a rule, reign, and a fulfilled kingdom.

6-6:  The “Kingdom” in Acts and from Paul to Dr. Luke.

Kingdom in Acts is found only 8 times, but I think that we will find those 8 very informative.

For example during the 40 days after Jesus’ Resurrection and before His Ascension what do you think Jesus talked to the apostles about; yes, “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

The Apostles never gave up in wanting Israel to be restored as a kingdom, asking Jesus as recorded in Acts 1:6, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”  We don’t know what Jesus thought, only what He said, two things:  (1) it is not for you to know the time and the seasons, only the Father, and I think that perhaps the place of Israel in that kingdom was not for them to know either, although they already knew that the 12 apostles {I think Paul really took the place of Judas as the twelfth Apostle more than Matthias} would rule over the 12 tribes; yet they were asking for more than that, they were asking for a restoration of Israel to a kingdom like David ruled over and on this earth; and (2) they would receive empowerment from the Holy Spirit to witness to Jesus over all the earth.  {I wonder if Jesus did not decide that very moment to call the Apostle Paul to make clear the full implications of the kingdom of God.}

We have a unique opportunity for a precise definition of the preaching of things concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 8:12) in Samaria, because before this summary statement there is a description of the preaching of Philip there.  Let’s see, what Philip the evangelist preached was:  (1) the word (8:4); (2) Christ (8:5); and (3) the healing which he practiced like Jesus said in the Great Commission would happen.

Saul and Barnabas on the first missionary journey and at Derbe where “they preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples” (14:21,22) went back to the cities of their journey like Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch where they strengthened the souls and exhorted them to continue in the faith centered around the teaching, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”  Thus the entrance was for the future though still within us, and the way of entrance was through many tribulations.  It reminds one of the teaching of Jesus about the narrow way that leads to life eternal, the way few go, and the broad and easy way that leads to destruction with the many which go that way.

Well, things concerning the kingdom of God must not be quick and easy; because Dr. Luke tells us in Acts 19:8 how it took Paul 3 months, on his second missionary journey, to reason and persuade the synagogue there “concerning the things of the kingdom of God”.  Some were hardened and did not believe, further they spoke evil of “the Way”.  Paul took the disciple from the synagogue to a certain school of Tyrannus where Paul taught for 2 years, all of Asia, Jews and Gentiles, hearing “the word of the Lord Jesus.”

When Paul called the Ephesian elders to Miletus for a Pastor’s Conference, what he wanted them to remember was his preaching of the “kingdom of God” (Acts 20:25) as he told them that they would see his face no more.  And once again we have a more detailed description from Paul himself to the pastors of Ephesus on what that preaching was in the account of 2);17-38:  (1) the way Paul lived was part of his preaching, serving the Lord with all humility and with many tears and trials caused by the plotting of the Jews; (2) Paul kept back no teaching or doctrine from them, teaching publicly and from house to house; (3) preaching repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ to both Jews and Greeks; (4) chains and tribulations await him in Jerusalem; (5) Paul wants to finish his race with joy, not counting his life dear to himself; (6) Paul wants to finish “the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus” {and what do you think that ministry might include, the instructions in Arabia received from Jesus Himself?}; (7) Paul declared the “whole counsel of God”, being therefore innocent of the blood of all men; (8) the Holy Spirit has made these pastors “overseers” of the flock, and they are to take heed to that flock and to themselves; (9) they are to “shepherd” the “church of God”; (10) the church of God is that which Jesus purchased with His own blood; (11)  Savage wolves will come in among them and the flock, scattering the flock; (12) Also men will rise up from among the flock who speak perverse things; (13)  These men will speak these perverse things in order to draw disciples after themselves; (14) Watch and remember how for 3 years Paul warned everybody night and day with tears; (5) Paul commends the brethren to God and to the word of His grace; (6) this word and grace are able to build them up and to give them an inheritance among all those who are “sanctified”; (7) Paul did not love money and did not covet anyone’s silver and gold or their clothing; (8) with his own hands Paul provided for his necessities and for the necessities of those with him; (9) Paul showed by example and in every way, by laboring, that you must support the weak–indeed, this is the cup of water of Jesus that Paul took seriously; and then quotes to that extent from Jesus (10) that it is more blessed to give than to receive; and (11) Paul knelt down and prayed with them.  We are in for exciting things as we look into Hebrews and Romans for these things pertaining to the kingdom, and with OT quotes, for we see that the preaching of the kingdom involved much more than thought at first.

6-7:  Our Bible Outline on the Gospel of the King and the Kingdom.

Indeed, I think after this preliminary context of the Bible on the kingdom, especially in the teachings of Jesus, we are really to get into the teachings of the Apostle whose ministry it was to make things clear based on the Old Testament, and whose ministry it was to personally write 14 out of 27 of the NT books, sponsoring 3 others.  We will do it in much the same manner that the Apostle Paul started his research for those books during the 7 silent years at Tarsus where he recorded on parchments all the OT quotes that he would later include in books.  Of course, we have that body in our total Bible book outline of the Appendix, but now we focus largely on where Paul quotes from the OT in Hebrews and Romans.  We found a large bulk of that was in the 3 out of 12 topical outline based on the book outline, and previously decided that for now that can be summarized as the Gospel of the King and the Kingdom.  Those three sections of the topical outline are included here for further development and expansion.  {You will also recall that the topical outline comes from chapter 3. The three sections are actually treated and continued in the next chapter, “Gospel of the King and the Kingdom”, primarily from Romans and Hebrews.}

6-8:  “Believe” in the Letters of Paul Continued.

Galatians 3:6. The necessity of salvation of baptism by faith is not new in the New Testament.  In the Old Testament Abraham believed God, and that belief before there was any written law or religious practices was counted by God as righteousness.  That is the primary way Abraham has become the father of many nations.  We Gentiles need faith in God like Abraham had!  As a matter of fact so do almost all of the Jews.

Galatians 3:22.  You didn’t think of the Bible as placing a confinement or restriction or binding on our lives.  Yes, it confined us under sin; so that the Bible like a schoolmaster might bring us to faith in Christ for salvation, not trusting in corrupt selves as a way of salvation; the promise of faith in Jesus Christ, given to Abraham, and to all who believe becomes a God-preferred method of salvation.

Ephesians 1:13.  You trusted in Jesus when you heard the word of truth; you recognized this as the good news or Gospel of your salvation, and “having believed” you were sealed in the one baptism “with the Holy Spirit of promise”.

Ephesians 1:19.  We who believe have not begun to tap the resources of the one baptism, the full extent of the greatness of God’s power toward us.  Put that in your Biblical statement of faith.

Philippians 1:29.  Even as I and II Timothy can be called the presentations of bad church behavior with many human frailties of church members and unsound doctrines mentioned, so Philippians can be called as you will find in the chapter on Philippians, the letter of  good church behavior.  You have been given two privileges as a church member if indeed you are a member of the Assembly of Christ written in heaven:  (1) to believe in Christ; and (2) to suffer for Christ.

I Thessalonians 1:7.  You know the books of Thessalonians to be about last things like the Second Coming and what must come before that on the world scene in the Falling Away and a visual of the son of perdition, the even more horrible prospect of what will happen in this world with the rising tide of the flood of the mystery of godliness as the Holy Spirit is withdrawn from the world scene.  All these things inspire us like the church members at Thessalonica to become examples of all those who do believe!

I Thessalonians 2:10.  Paul was concerned about the way he, Timothy, and his companions behaved among those who believe, another example for church members where the most violated scripture of all the Bible is generally, “do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought to.”

I Thessalonians 2:13.  Down in their heart listeners to itching ears Bible teachers today, if Jesus is already there as the Word of God is effectively working in those who believe, they know that the word is not from God.  Popularity will not cut it in this day and time of the Falling Away.  Instead we work to be heard and read by a few, a remnant of the remnant if you would, who have that effective working inside.  To write a best-seller testifies to the curse of popularity and the Falling Away of “the time will come {has come} when they will not endure sound doctrine”.

I Thessalonians 4:14.  Here is another good statement of faith for your beliefs:  we believe that believers should not sorrow for the death of loved ones like unbelievers as we have faith to believe, according to the Bible, that even as Jesus died and rose again as a foundation for the resurrection for others, that God will bring with Jesus as His Second Coming those who have gone to sleep in the faith of Jesus.  Comfort one another at funerals with these words.

II Thessalonians 1:10.  In that great Day of the Lord, at the Second Coming of Jesus, God takes vengeance in fire on (1) all those who do not know God and (2) all those who do not obey the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  The worse part of that punishment is to be forever banished from the presence of God and from all the glory and benefits of His power. At that Day, God comes in Jesus to be glorified among all His believing saints.

II Thessalonians 2:11.  Your statement of faith must include some realities about the extent of the Falling Away among church members.  Among those who do not believe the truth truly, and they are many, there is strong delusion.

If you wish you can purchase on Amazon the book volume 3 of LCC, the life and 14 NT letters of the Apostle Paul at https://www.amazon.com/Learn-Christ-Commentaries-Believe-Baptized/dp/1790269547/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=life+and+14+NT+letters+of+the+Apostle+Paul&qid=1582828853&s=books&sr=1-1

OR you can secure Believing The Gospel of the King and His Kingdom from the SunGrist Golden Edition Pubs at

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By the way as usual you are welcome to free download a copy of this chapter 6 from SunGrist at http://sungrist.org/NTKingdom.pdf

You will also want to follow the Pharisees and Conservative Resurgence page on SunGrist Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Pharisees-and-the-Conservative-Resurgence-of-1909-and-1910-102109148064792/

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