Thy Kingdom Come – Chapter 3

The Age Between The Advents Of Christ.

A. The Course Of This Present Age.

1. The age from the rejection of the Messiah by Israel, unto His reception by Israel at His second advent, is outlined in two portions of the Word: Matthew 13 and Revelation 2 and 3; the former from the viewpoint of God’s kingdom program, and the latter from the viewpoint of the church program.

2. The course of this present age will be considered as we discuss Matthew 13, in this study. The study of Revelation 2 and 3 has already been discussed in a study of the book of Revelation.

3. Matthew 13:11 reveals that our Lord is speaking in a way that He may give the course of the mysteries of the age on earth between the first and second advents of Christ. This instruction comes through the proper instruction of the parables which are recorded here.

B. The Program Altered (The kingdom age postponed).

1. The thirteenth chapter of Matthew marks a new division in the gospel, in which Jesus addresses Himself to the problem of what will occur when He goes back to heaven as the rejected King. The gospel of Matthew began with the proofs that Jesus was indeed the promised Son who would reign on the throne of David (chap. 1), supported by the visit of the wise men and the early ministry of John the Baptist (chaps. 2-3). After His temptation, Jesus presented the principles of His coming kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (chaps. 5-7), emphasizing spiritual and moral principles that govern the kingdom of God, but especially as those applied to the prophesied kingdom on earth, which the Messiah-King was to bring when He came. The Sermon on the Mount accordingly contained timeless truths always applicable, some truths that were immediately applicable to Christ’s day on earth, and some truths that were to have their fulfillment in the millennial kingdom.

2.  Chapter 13 faces the question, “what will happen when the rejected king goes back to heaven and the kingdom promised is postponed until His second coming?” The concept of a kingdom postponed must be understood as a postponement from the human side and not from the divine, as obviously God’s plans do not change.  It may be compared to the situation at Kadesh-Barnea, when the children of Israel, bound for the promised land, because of unbelief, had their entrance postponed for forty years. If they had believed God, they might have entered the land immediately.

3. What is contingent from the human standpoint, however, is always planned from the divine standpoint. The rejection of Christ by His own people and His subsequent death and resurrection were absolutely essential to God’s program. Humanly speaking, the kingdom, instead of being brought in immediately, was postponed. From the divine viewpoint, the plan always included what actually happened. The human responsibility remains, however, and the rejection of the kingdom from this standpoint caused the postponement of the promised kingdom on earth.

4. This chapter (13), accordingly, does not only introduce a new subject and a new approach, but also involves a new method of teaching, namely that of parables. While many of the illustrations which Christ used were designed to make plain the truth, parables were intended to reveal the truth only to believers and required explanation in order to understand them. In a sense, they were riddles which required a key, but supplied with the key, the truth became prophetically eloquent.

5. Jesus deliberately adopted the parabolic method of teaching at a particular stage in His ministry for the purpose of withholding further truth about Himself and the future kingdom from the crowds, who had proved themselves to be deaf to His claims and irresponsive to His demands. From now onwards, when addressing the unbelieving multitude, He speaks only in parables, which He interprets to His disciples in private.

6. In this chapter are presented in the parables the mysteries of the inter advent age (the age between the first and second comings of Christ to earth). The parables are designed to reveal the mysteries of this present age.

7. Mysteries is a word that refers to truth that was not revealed in the Old Testament but is revealed in the New Testament. More than a dozen such truths are revealed in the New Testament, all following the basic definition of Colossians 1:26, which defines a mystery as that “which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints.” A mystery truth, accordingly, has two elements. First, it has to be hidden in the Old Testament and not revealed there. Second, it has to be revealed in the New Testament. It is not necessarily a reference to a truth difficult to understand (such as a murder mystery), but rather to truths that can be understood only on the basis of divine revelation.

8. The Old Testament reveals, in clear terms, the earthly reign of Christ when He comes as King to reign on the throne of David (which truths are not mysteries).  Matthew 13 introduces the present age, during which the King during is physically absent from the earth, prior to His second coming. The mysteries of this inter advent age, accordingly, deal with the period between the first and second advent of Christ and not the millennial kingdom which will follow the second coming.

C. The Mysteries Of The Inter Advent Age (The Parables).

1. This period is known as the inter advent age, and includes the time from Pentecost, in Acts 2, to the rapture; that is, the age of grace. Although this period includes the church age, it extends beyond it, for the parables of Matthew 13 precede Pentecost and extend beyond the rapture, through the tribulation, to the second coming of Christ.

2. These parables do not primarily concern the nature, function, and influence of the church. Rather, they show the previously unrevealed age that was made necessary by Israel’s rejection of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 13 there are eight parables, each one providing an essential characteristic of this inter advent age age.

a. Seed, sowers, and soils. The first feature of this age is that it is characterized by a sowing of the seed by sowers and by varied responses to the sowing. In this parable, the seed (Matt. 13:3-8) represents the word, or “the message about the kingdom,” and the field represents the “heart” of the individual hearer (v. 19). In Scripture, the “heart” often indicates intellectual capacity. A message, then, was being proclaimed and heard, but there were varying responses. Some seed showed no sign of life at all (that sown by the wayside); some produced no fruit (that sown on rocky places).

b. The sewing of seed gave promise of bearing fruit but was eventually fruitless (that sown among the thorns). There was seed that produced a crop, yielding a 100, 60, or 30 times what was sown (v. 23). Jesus was saying that instead of the fruitage of the Gospel showing an increase, there would be a marked decrease.

c. Mark recorded another parable by Jesus on the theme of sowing seed. This parable (Mark 4:26-29) was designed to teach that the fruit depends not on the sower but on the life that is in the seed itself. Regardless of what the sower did, the seed germinated, sprouted, grew, produced grain, and eventually yielded a bountiful harvest, which the man reaped. Jesus wanted to make it clear that any harvest they saw would be the result of sowing and then allowing the life in the seed to manifest itself by growth and yield.

d. Weeds among wheat. The second parable (13:24-29) was designed to supplement the first to teach that there would be a false sowing alongside the sowing of the Word of God. The field had been sown with good seed, and the sower could anticipate a harvest for his labors. Later, the sower was told that an enemy had sown the field with the seed of weeds.

e. This false sowing evidently took place immediately after the good seed had been sown. Then both kinds of seed germinated and sprouted. In the process of waiting for the harvest, it became evident that weeds had been sown in the wheat field. The presence of weeds would crowd out the growth of the fruit-bearing wheat. The servants, concerned as they were with the results of their labors, suggested that they try to remove the weeds from the field. However, the owner of the field recognized that it would be impossible to remove the weeds without destroying the wheat. So the servants were commanded to let both ripen, and at the time of wheat harvest they would then separate the good grain from the worthless weeds, without destroying the wheat. The weeds could be burned and destroyed, while the wheat would be gathered into storage. Through this parable Jesus prepared these men to be on guard for Satan’s work of sowing false seed, or false doctrine, while they were sowing the good seed. Satan’s false kingdom would continue to exist alongside the new form of God’s kingdom.

f. The mustard seed. The third parable (13:31-32) reveals that this age will have an almost imperceptible beginning. The emphasis in the parable is on the contrast between the size of the seed and the plants that are produced. “Small as a mustard seed” was a Jewish proverb to indicate a very minute particle. But out of that insignificant seed in one year would grow a plant which became large enough for birds to nest in. In Ezekiel 31:6 and Daniel 4:12, the figure of a spreading tree, in which birds lodge, indicates a great age that can protect and provide benefits for many peoples. Christ would commission only 11 men to become His emissaries (John 17:18). This would seem to be an insignificant beginning, yet Jesus predicted that the world would hear His message from such a small beginning. Thus the parable teaches that the inter advent age, while it did have an insignificant beginning, would eventually spread to the ends of the earth.

g. The hidden leaven. The fourth parable (13:33) was designed to show how the inter advent age would develop and operate. Some have referred to this as “The Parable of the Leaven,” but that title puts emphasis on what leaven is, or signifies. Actually, this is “The Parable of Leaven Hidden in Meal.” In other words, the parable emphasizes what leaven does or how leaven works. When the leaven, or yeast, was introduced into the flour, a process began that was steady, continuous, and irreversible. That process continued until the whole mixture was leavened. Thus Jesus was teaching that the age would not be established by outward means; this was because no external force could make the dough rise. Rather, this inter advent age would operate according to an internal force that would be continuous and progressive until the whole mixture had been leavened. Here the emphasis was on the Holy Spirit and concerned His ministry to the world. Christ would again speak of this in John 15:26 and 16:7-11.

h. Hidden treasure and the expensive pearl. The fifth and sixth parables reveal what accrues to God through the inter advent age. In the “Parable of the Treasure Hidden in the Field” (13:44), Jesus revealed that a multitude from Israel will become God’s purchased possession through this present age.

i. In the “Parable of the Merchant Looking for Fine Pearls” (13:45-46), Jesus revealed that God will obtain a treasure not only from the nation Israel but from the Gentiles as well. We understand this because a pearl comes out of the sea, and quite frequently in Scripture the sea represents Gentile nations. Therefore, we see that a treasure from among the Gentiles becomes God’s by purchase.

j. The dragnet. The seventh parable (vv. 47-50) reveals that this inter advent age will conclude in a judgment separating the righteous from the unrighteous. The net drawn up from the sea brings all kinds of fish, some useful and some useless. Through this parable Christ taught that the age that we are in will end in a judgment to determine who enters the future millennial kingdom and who is excluded.

k. Righteousness is a prerequisite for entrance into the future kingdom age. The righteous are taken into it, but the unrighteous are excluded. The destiny of the wicked is not the blessing of the kingdom, but rather the judgment of eternal fire. This same truth, concerning the judgment prior to the institution of the millennial kingdom, is taught in Matthew 25:1-30, where Christ predicted judgment on the nation Israel, and in verses 31-46 where He described judgment on living Gentiles. The judgment predicted here is not a judgment on the dead but on the living, and it will take place at the time of Christ’s second advent to the earth.

l. The householder. The eighth and final parable of Matthew 13 is that of the householder (v. 52), which teaches that some features of the inter advent age are identical to features previously revealed about the this age and have no correspondence to what had been revealed about the future millennial kingdom.

D. The Inter Advent Age In Review.

1. As we survey the Matthew 13 parables, we find that in light of Israel’s rejection of Christ, He foresaw postponement of the millennial kingdom. He announced the introduction of an age, one that would span the period from Israel’s rejection of Christ until Israel’s future reception of Christ at His second advent.

2. This present age is characterized by the sowing of the Word, to which there will be varying responses depending on the soil’s preparation (the soils). The harvest, that results from the sowing, is the result of the life that is in the sown seed (the seed growing of itself). Concurrent with the sowing of the Word is a false counter-sowing (the weeds).

3. The inter advent age had an insignificant beginning, but it will grow to great proportions (the mustard seed). The power in this age is not external but internal (the leaven hidden in meal). God will gather a peculiar treasure to Himself through this present age (the hidden treasure and the pearl of great price).

4. The present inter advent age will end in a judgment to determine who are righteous, and therefore are eligible to enter the future millennial kingdom, as well as who are unrighteous thus to be excluded from the millennial kingdom to come.

5. This revelation of this inter advent age was followed by a specific prophecy: “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). The nature and function of the church is not explained here, but it is revealed in its historical development in the book of Acts, with its doctrines explained in the epistles (Acts and Epistles’ explanations will follow).

6. We began this article on words that come from Matthew 13:11: Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

a. The inter advent age has been discussed to show the things that will happen on earth during the time of Christ’s absence, until His return to earth at the end of the tribulation, which is also known as “the end of the age.

b. Confusion may still exist in the minds of many people, of the words, “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.” First century Jews knew that God was present in heaven, above us, and is the source of all things “under Him.” In the teachings of Jesus, He explained to those Jews the things that were not explained by Jewish Old Testament prophets, by whom God declared his plans for eternity, and were therefore, “mysteries,” (but not like murder mysteries that are contained in novels). God had provided the Jews with prophecies that relate to the “Day of the Lord,” which consists of the Tribulation and the Kingdom Age (millennial reign of Christ). But, God had not provided the prophets with knowledge about the things that will occur during the time period during which Christ will not be present on earth. The time of these mystery events, will consist of the period of time which will include the church age, the rapture, and the Tribulation, but can also be said to be the time between the two advents of Christ.


Thy Kingdom Come – Chapter 2

A. Overview. Matthew 12:22-30. The Offer Of The Kingdom To Israel Is Postponed.

22 Then a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute was brought to Jesus, and He healed him, so that the mute man spoke and saw. 23 All the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons.”

25 And knowing their thoughts Jesus said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then will his kingdom stand? 27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can anyone enter the strong man’s house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.

30 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

B. Jesus’ Judgment Upon Israel.

1. From the announcement of John The Baptist to first century Israel in Matthew 3:2, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” and of Jesus in Matthew 4:17, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand,” Jesus views the explanation by the leaders in Matthew 12:24 as indicative of the course which that generation of Jews would follow. He viewed His rejection as if it were final, although it would not be finalized until His trial and crucifixion. The message that He began to proclaim was no longer “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28), but rather it was a message of judgment. Viewing the nation as being confirmed in their rejection and unbelief, Jesus from this time on speaks of the judgment to come.

2. In the parable of the wicked vinedressers (Matt. 21:33-44), after the leaders kill the heir, God, the owner, will destroy those wicked men miserably (Matt. 21:41). So, too, “the kingdom of God will be taken from you [that first century generation in Israel] and given to a nation [or generation] bearing the fruit of it, in the future. And whoever falls on this stone will be broken but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder” (Matt. 21:43-44, author’s translation). This signifies the withdrawal of the offer of the covenanted kingdom to Israel and its postponement to the future.

3. This same judgment is depicted in Matthew 22:1-7, where the guests (the nation Israel), who had been invited to a wedding banquet (Messiah’s kingdom) but refused to come, suffered the consequences of rejecting the king’s invitation. The king “sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.” This parable reveals the form of judgment: Roman armies, under Thus, would attack the city of Jerusalem, destroy it, and either kill or disperse its inhabitants.

4. Another specific prediction of the coming judgment is given in Matthew 23:37-24:2. Jesus declared He had sought to provide peace and security for Israel, but it was not experienced because “you were not willing.” As a consequence, “Your house is left to you desolate” (Matt. 24:38). The house could refer to the temple, or to the city of Jerusalem, in which the temple stood, or to the Davidic house, whose throne would be left empty. The severity of the judgment is seen in the declaration: “Not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (Matt. 24:2).

5. Luke is very specific in recording Jesus’ message of judgment. In Luke 19:11-27 the nobleman declared, concerning the unfaithful, “Take the mina from him, but bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.” In this parable it is significant that judgment fell on those who refused to submit themselves to the One who had the right to reign. This was the sin of that first century generation in Israel.

6. Once again, the judgment is predicted forcefully in Luke 21:20-24: “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

7. Thus we see that the message of Jesus was initially a message of hope, of blessing, and of salvation. But after the announcement by the leaders that Jesus received His power from Satan, and so was a blasphemous impostor, His message turned to one of judgment on that generation in Israel. While this announcement did not cancel the covenants and promises given to Israel concerning the earthly kingdom of David’s greater Son, but only postponed the realization of those hopes, yet it did consign that generation to a physical and temporal judgment which was inescapable (Luke 19:27). Thus the kingdom program for Israel, which began with such high hopes at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, ends with the somber note of judgment and postponement.

C. The Kingdom in the Present Age.

1. In light of the preceding information, the following questions arise. What happens to God’s kingdom (of which the Davidic millennial kingdom is only an earthly form) while the millennial kingdom has been postponed? What will happen in this present age, which is also known as “the age” (Matt 12:32; 13:39, 40, 49; 24:3; 28:20) ? First century Jews knew that God was in heaven, but had no understanding of anyone going to heaven. Secrets of the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of God, meant the same thing to those Jews, “that a mystery of heaven was such of God,” who they knew dwelled in heaven. Where Matthew 13:11 states “the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,” the context did not refer to “cloak and dagger” mysteries, but to truth that God had not revealed to the Jewish prophets. God had revealed truth about the tribulation and millennium (the Day of the Lord) to the prophets, but had not revealed that which would happen during the time frame that would exist between the time that Christ was no longer on the earth, and when He would return at the end of the tribulation. To call such a period of time, “the mystery kingdom” is incorrect. The only kingdom that is within the context of the offer of the “kingdom” to first century Israel, is the unconditional covenant that God made with David (2 Samuel 7:12-16), which is known as the Davidic covenant, which relates to a literal earthly kingdom, with a literal king (Jesus) ruling from a liberal throne. The Davidic covenant is an unconditional sub covenant of the unconditional Abrahamic covenant that God made with Abraham (Gen 12:1-3; 17:2, 6-8; 22:17; 26:3-4, 24).

2. In answer, Jesus referred to “the mysteries of the kingdom” (Matt. 13:11). He was not referring to the covenanted Davidic millennial kingdom. That there would be such a “mystery kingdom” was no mystery of God hidden from the Old Testament prophets. It clearly revealed the essential features or characteristics of the present age, which will extend until the onset of the millennial kingdom. The Old Testament Jewish prophets had not revealed that an entire age would intervene between the offer of the kingdom by the Messiah and Israel’s reception of the King and enjoyment of full kingdom blessings (such a period is a mystery). With this background, we see that the time period covered by the parables in Matthew 13 extends from Israel’s rejection of Messiah as King (Deu 17:15) until her future acceptance of the Messiah. Thus, this new program began while Christ was still on the earth, and will extend until His return to the earth in power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-30). A more correct definition of this period of time, in which we reside, and exists between the two advents of Christ, is “the inter advent age.”

D. The Kingdom In The Age To Come.

a. Concerning the Kingdom, Kingdom of God, Kingdom of Heaven. A good view of the kingdom, is that which is found in the Prophecy of Daniel, Daniel 2:44, which may be called the divine kingdom.

 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever” (Daniel 2:44).

b. In Daniel’s prophecy of the Kingdom, of which we are now discussing, notice his words, “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom.” It is clear to see that Daniel shows an origination and authority of the Kingdom (the Divine kingdom), which is of/from/by God. He is also saying that the divine Kingdom of, from, by God:

(1) Can not be destroyed by anyone.

(2) Will not be left for any other than Gods people.

(3) Will be more powerful than any other kingdom.

(4) Will last forever.

(5) Is a literal earthly kingdom.

c. “Kingdom of Heaven” is stated thirty-one times in the book of Matthew. In each instance, the kingdom is of/from/by God.

d. “Kingdom of God” is stated four times in the book of Matthew. In each instance, the kingdom is of/from/by God.

E. The King In The Kingdom To Come.

Concerning the Kingdom’s King, a good view of the King of the Kingdom, who is the Messiah, who is Jesus, who is shown coming from heaven to earth, is that which is found in the Prophecy of Daniel, Daniel 7:13-14. Notice, still, that the Kingdom is a literal earthly kingdom, and that the Kingdom that will be on earth will be under the literal, earthly, powerful rule of the King.

13 “I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
14 “And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed.

F. The measure by which Israel must receive the offer of the Kingdom.

a. When the kingdom of God is offered to first century Israel, the kingdom is “not here,” but near, at hand. The only way for Israel to receive the kingdom is to accept, as her King, the King of God’s own choosing (2 Samuel 7:12-16), who was Jesus.

b. Whereas, the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke address the offer, only, of the kingdom by Jesus to national Israel, the Gospel of John brings in the sphere of individual salvation through the use of “the kingdom of God” (John 3:3; 3:5).

G. Kingdom In Context.

1. We know that the time period in which we presently are living, which is known as the inter advent age, is an ungodly time. We also know that the time period during which Christ will reign on earth, will be a time of sinlessness (see 3b2 below).

2.When we consider the word, “kingdom,” we must consider the context of the passage of Scripture to know if the Scripture aligns itself with the sinful time in which we presently reside, or if the Scripture context aligns itself with the Davidic Kingdom, which is also known as the Kingdom Age (the thousand-year millennial reign of Christ over the earth).

3. Consider the following verses in relation to the time in which we live now, the inter advent age, and realize that the present time is under the authority of God, who is in heaven, thus making this age, and every age, a Kingdom that is under the authority of God (Psalm 103:19).

a. Matthew 13:31.  and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the “kingdom;” and the tares are the sons of the evil one; (Note: the context of this verse is one of sin in the world, which will be common from now (the inter advent age) until Christ returns from heaven (Matthew 24:29-30) and begins His rule and reign over the earth in a period of sinlessness (The earthly Kingdom Age, The Davidic Kingdom, the Millennial reign of Christ). It must be remembered that in order for anyone to enter the earthly Kingdom of God, Davidic Kingdom, Millennium, that such a person must have been born again (John 3:3), and that for anyone to go beyond the Kingdom Age into the Eternal State (New Heaven, New Earth, New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:1-2), such a person must also have been born again (Revelation 20:15).

b. Matthew 20:21. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Command that in Your “kingdom” these two sons of mine may sit one on Your right and one on Your left.” (Note: the context of this verse is one of sinlessness, which will be common when Christ begins His rule over the world, which will be called the earthly Kingdom Age, The Davidic Kingdom, the Millennial reign of Christ). Those who enter the Kingdom Age will be survivors of the Tribulation, who will have been born again, with a sinless nature, and able to procreate children during the Kingdom Age. These Kingdom Age children will be born with a sin nature, and must be born again, or will continue in a sinful life, and will not be able to enter the Eternal State, unless the have been born again. At the end of the Kingdom Age, such sinful/unborn again people will be led by Satan, and will mount an assault on God’s people in the battle of Gog and Magog (Revelation 20:7-9). From the time that Kingdom born children enter the world, the sinful nature which promotes sin, will bring about a kingdom (a world) that is no longer sinless.

Thy Kingdom Come – Chapter 1

Thy Kingdom Come – Chapter 1

I. Overview.

A. This study, “Thy Kingdom Come,” is a Biblical exposition that covers the time period from the first verse of the book of Genesis to the last verse of the book of Revelation. The unifying factor of each verse of God’s Holy Word is God’s love, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).

B. The title of this study, Thy Kingdom Come,” relates to our Lord’s Words to first century Israel, as recorded in Matthew 6:10, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” These words were spoken only to the Jews of Israel, where Jesus told the Jews to pray for the Kingdom To Come to earth. Neither Gentiles, nor Samaritans, were the subject of this conversation.

C. The context of “Thy Kingdom Come” is that of Jesus offering the Davidic Kingdom to the nation of Israel in the first century A.D., and only to the nation of Israel, as is documented the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In each instance of the Kingdom that is being offered to Israel, its’ meaning and scripture basis is that of the Davidic Covenant, as seen in 2 Samuel 7:8-16, which has a context and meaning of God’s unconditional covenant with David, which describes an earthly kingdom, with Jesus ruling from that throne in Jerusalem. The Davidic Covenant is an unconditional sub-covenant of the unconditional Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 12:2) that God made with Abraham. While the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, document only the offer of the Davidic Kingdom to Israel, the Gospel of John brings in the subject of personal salvation (John 3:16; John 17:3).

D. In order for Israel to receive the offer of the kingdom, a requirement was that Israel must accept God’s choice of its King, as is stated in Deuteronomy 17:15, “you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses, one from among your countrymen you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your countryman.” The mission of Jesus in the Gospels was for Him to show first century Israel that He, Jesus, was God’s choice to be the King of Israel.

E. Each offer of the kingdom to Israel, which will be received when the Jews accept Jesus as Israel’s King, is prefixed by the words, “the Kingdom of God is at hand,” John 3:2, which is stating that the Kingdom of God is “near,” but “not here.” “Being here” was contingent upon Israel accepting Jesus as God’s choice for Israel’s king. For the Kingdom to be at hand, or “near,” and not “here” is significant in the context of the offer of the Kingdom to Israel. Consider the following verse and comment:

Matthew 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is not a personal salvation verse, but one that relates to the restoration of Israel. When the Jews were given the Law, after leaving Egypt, the Jews were given the Mosaic law which relates to how they were to treat others. When Jesus appeared on the scene, the Jews were not treating other people as they had been taught by the Law. The Jews were being told, “if you want to be kingdom people, then act like kingdom people.” At the time of the ascension of Jesus to Heaven, His disciples asked Him, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). This verse shows that the Kingdom had not yet come .

F. Instructions were given to Jewish disciples about telling other Jews about “the Gospel of the Kingdom,” which did not relate to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1 Cor 15:1-8). The Gospel of the kingdom relates to the conditions of the Davidic Kingdom (2 Sam 7:8-16) that will be present on earth when Jesus will be “King” ruling from Jerusalem. Jesus and His disciples did not tell the first century Jews the meaning of the Davidic Kingdom , because they had already received such an explanation in their Jewish teachings. Consider the following two verses:

1.Matt 4:17. From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”(Matt 4:17). Jesus repeated the words of John the Baptist (Matt 3:2).

2. Matt 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;  but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (The instructions were for the disciples to go only to Jews of the Jewish blood line, which descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”).

G. As previously stated, the purpose of Jesus’s contact with the Jews was to offer the Davidic Kingdom to them, and not to anyone else. In this study, we will see that the nation of Israel rejected the offer of Jesus for Israel to receive the Davidic Kingdom. We will also see that which has taken place since Israel’s rejection of Jesus as Israel’s duly chosen King.

II. The Sovereignty of God.

A. God is Sovereign, and as Sovereign He rules eternally in a kingdom in which He is the absolute authority. In order to understand the biblical concept of “kingdom,” we must recognize that it includes several ideas: the right to rule, a realm in which ruling authority is exercised, and the reality of that authority actually being exercised.

B. The Kingdom in Eternity.

1. Concerning God’s kingdom, the Bible presents two aspects: the eternal aspect and the temporal aspect. The eternal kingdom is characterized by the following essential truths: (a) It is timeless; (b) it is universal; (c) it is providential; (d) it is miraculous.

2. In eternity past, before the creation of the angels, the earth, and man, a kingdom existed in the sphere of “the heavenlies” because of the relationship among the members of the Trinity. God the Father was sovereign. God the Son, although equal in person, was subordinate to the Father. God the Holy Spirit was the active executor of the will of the Father (Gen. 1:1-3). Thus, in eternity past there was a kingdom, involving the right to rule, as well as the sphere in which the right operated and the rule was exercised. Indeed, all the elements essential to a kingdom were present.

3. This kingdom arises from the character of God and reaches from eternity to eternity. God’s kingdom was displayed in the angelic realm before it was developed on the earth. The created angelic hosts in that kingdom were subject to the Sovereign, and they worshiped Him and obeyed Him. This continued until the fall of Lucifer and the angels who followed him in rebellion.

C. The Kingdom on Earth (Pre-Abrahamic).

1. To demonstrate His right to rule, God ordered this earthly sphere as the place where He would rule. He populated it with creatures who were responsible to recognize that right, submit to it, and give the Ruler that which was due Him. Our sovereign God, in every period of theocratic administration, has ruled through those to whom He assigned His authority. It was the responsibility of administrators to subjugate all to God’s authority, to reward those who do good, to punish evildoers, and to provide an atmosphere in which the subjects of the King might live in peace. In the garden, Adam was the theocratic administrator whose responsibility was to subject all creation to himself, so that through him creation might be subject to the authority of God. When this form of administration failed, God brought a judgment and expelled Adam and Eve from the garden.

2. God instituted a new form of theocratic administration in which He wrote His law in the hearts of men and subjected man to His law. That law was man’s conscience (Rom. 2:15), and as men subjected themselves to the rule of conscience, they were in subjection to the authority of God. But that too failed. And when men rebelled against that form of theocratic administration, God wiped the human race off the face of the earth by a flood.

3. God then instituted a new form of theocratic administration in which authority was given to human government (Gen. 9:6). It was the responsibility of human government to curb lawlessness and to bring man in subjection to the authority of God. Again, man failed miserably. And when men organized in open rebellion against God; the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel-because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world (Gen. 11:8-9).

D. The Kingdom in Israel.

1. With the call of Abraham, God introduced a new form of theocratic administration. He instituted the Abrahamic Covenant that promised Abraham a land, seed, and blessing. Throughout the Old Testament-through that expanding covenant program-God administered His theocracy here on earth. The kingdom program was then developed with the nation of Israel through the covenants that God made with them:

a. the Abrahamic (Genesis 15:18),

b. the Davidic Covenant (2 Samuel;. 7:14),

c. the New Covenant (Jeremiah. 31:31-34),

d. the Land Covenant, (Deuternomy28-30). These eternal, unconditional, irrevocable covenants determined the ultimate form of the kingdom of the God of heaven on earth.

2. While the covenants promised a kingdom here on earth, it was the prophets who described the glories of that kingdom. The prophets of the Old Testament had proclaimed a message of hope that caused Israel to eagerly anticipate the fulfillment of God’s covenants and promises to them. David’s son, the Messiah, would come to bring peace, righteousness, and prosperity to the nation. He would come as a Savior to redeem and as a Sovereign to reign. The nations which had persecuted Israel would be subjugated to Him, and Israel would know the promised peace which the Prince of Peace would bring. Her accumulated sins would be put away and she would experience forgiveness and life in righteousness. Such was the hope of Israel.

3. Years passed before an official proclamation was made by the prophesied forerunner, John the Baptist, who heralded his message to the nation: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2 NASB). When Jesus began His ministry He made the same proclamation: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17 NASB). The call to repentance shows that this was a contingent offer and that the blessings of the kingdom depended on the nation’s response. This does not mean, however, it was not a genuine offer. The reference to the kingdom needed no explanation; it was the covenanted kingdom under David’s son, the Messiah, of which the prophets had so clearly spoken and for whom the nation was waiting. The nation was plunged into a great debate concerning His person.

4. Who is this Jesus of Nazareth who claims to be the son of David and the Son of God? Is He what He claims to be? If so, He truly is the promised and covenanted Messiah. If not, He is a blasphemous impostor who is worthy of death. Jesus made His claims concerning His
person very clear. He validated those claims convincingly by His miracles, and He challenged people to accept His claims and to put faith in Him, so as to receive a righteousness from Him that would enable them to enter His forthcoming kingdom.

5. From the inception of His ministry two responses to His presentation were evident. John says: “He came to His own [things], and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:11-12). His rejection is clearly seen in the response of those in Nazareth, who heard Him claim to be the One who would fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2. These responses climax in the incident recorded in Matthew 12:22-24. There were those who, on the basis of the evidence He had presented about Himself as the son of David, the Messiah, expressed their willingness to accept Him as the Messiah. But there were also those who rejected the evidence and sought to explain it away, so that they would be guiltless for their rejection. There were two supernatural powers who could perform miracles: Satan and God. If the leaders acknowledged that Jesus performed miracles by God’s power, they would be without excuse for their unbelief; but if He performed miracles by Satan’s power, they could justify their rejection. Thus they sought to dissuade those who believed by saying: “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons” (Matt. 12:24).