PROPHECY HEADLINES: Nearly 400 dead, 2,000 injured in China earthquake | Israel withdraws ground troops from Gaza | China develops new ICBM that can reach U.S. | West Africa put under isolation zone due to Ebola outbreak | Islamic State seizes dam, oil field, three towns in Iraq
The Bible says in Revelation 1:7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
PROPHECY BOOTCAMP: “The Coming Kingdom of Christ, Part 1” from Dr. Tim LaHaye
Both Jews and Christians agree that someday their Messiah is going to come to set up His kingdom and rule on this earth. It will be a time of peace, blessing, and joy that will be interrupted only briefly at the end, before eternity or heaven is ushered in. There is, of course, great disagreement on the identity of that Messiah. Christians believe Jesus Christ is that Messiah, and that He will return to set up His kingdom and that they will rule it with Him. Jews, on the other hand, believe that a not-yet-known Jew will come as Messiah to set up that kingdom. What is interesting is that most Jews are unaware that the requirements of their Messiah make Him identical to Jesus Christ! But both groups agree that when Messiah comes, He will reign over this earth.
The Two Phases of the Kingdom in the New Testament
There are almost 200 references to the kingdom in the New Testament, but unlike the Old Testament, most of them (except for those in the book of Revelation) have to do with the spiritual phase of the kingdom. To save you confusion, allow me to explain these two phases of the kingdom.
The spiritual phase of the kingdom is what our Lord came to establish in His first coming. He told Pontius Pilate that He was a King, but that His kingdom “is not of this world.” He also said that a person must be “born again” to get into His kingdom. John the Baptist said that people had to “repent” to get into the kingdom of God. We have already studied Paul’s assertion that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” So the Lord first of all established a spiritual kingdom into which people are born by faith in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Such individuals are then entitled to enter the literal kingdom of God on this earth when Christ comes physically to set it up.
OCCUPY TILL I COME: “Waiting on the Second Coming — Whatever Became of Integrity (Part 2)” by Ray C. Stedman
MUSICAL SELECTION: “The King is Coming” by Newsboys