June 18, 2017
Daniel E. Woodhead
Series: Ezekiel · 89 of 89
The section of Scripture we are entering is an exposition of the Temple that will exist
during the future Messianic Kingdom. The coming Kingdom was known for many ages
by the nation Israel and revealed extensively throughout the Old Testament prophets in
all of the aspects of it that God chose to provide us. The Scriptures cannot be fully
understood without a fundamental knowledge of the kingdom. It is a fact, attested by a
multitude of works, and constantly presented throughout the chronological time line of
The Jews in the New Testament times knew that a Messiah or anointed one who would
rule the earth during this period was coming. They further knew that when He appeared
as Scripture had explain He would set up the kingdom for the nation Israel. Very little
information regarding the Kingdom is revealed regarding this Kingdom in the New
Testament other than the duration of one-thousand which, is given six times in Revelation
chapter twenty and how it would end. The Old Testament prophets knew it When Jesus
appeared during His first advent he stated that He was the Messiah.
21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when neither in
this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father. 22Ye worship
that which ye know not: we worship that which we know; for salvation is
from the Jews. 23But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such doth the Father seek to
be his worshippers. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must
worship in spirit and truth. 25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah
cometh (he that is called Christ): when he is come, he will declare unto us all
things. 26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he (ASV, 1901).
JESUS ANNOUNCED THE KINGDOM
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching
the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the
kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel (KJV).
Mark says that Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. He
was proclaiming the appointed time of His arrival on earth as prophesied in the Old
Testament. Two term frequently found in the New Testament are the Kingdom of God
and the Kingdom of Heaven. It is important to distinguish between these two terms
because both of them appear in the Gospels and elsewhere. The basic distinction is that
the “Kingdom of God” which appears in Mark chapter one is universal in that it includes
all the elect and those who have been regenerated of all ages (Luke 13:28-29; Hebrews
12:22-23). Therefore this is the more inclusive term to include all “saved” people of all
times. Whereas the term “Kingdom of Heaven” is a very Messianic term found in the
book of Matthew. It can be said that it is Davidic, and Messianic describing the
establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth over Israel and placing them in a
position of government over the nations of the world.
Jesus announced this Kingdom of God as being “at hand” or immediately available. It
was rejected by the ruling Jews of His time and it therefore became delayed. It was
suspended until a time yet future to the Church Age after the Great Tribulation. In general
the Jews did not accept the Gospel of Jesus but the Gentiles did during this period of
Grace. The repentance that Jesus spoke of is a faith in the Gospel that is immediately
followed with true repentance (II Corinthians 7:13). Interestingly many Jews understood
this announcement of the Kingdom from the One who only can provide entrance into it.
In fact Jesus told His apostles to ask for it during their prayers.
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven,
so on earth. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as
we also have forgiven our debtors. 13And bring us not into temptation, but
deliver us from the evil one (ASV 1901).
At the point of His ascension back to Heaven the apostles asked Him if He was going to
restore the kingdom to Israel at that time. His answer was essentially “not now.”
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord,
wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto
them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath
put in his own power (KJV).
THE KINGDOM IS NOT A PREVALENT TOPIC IN THE CHURCH
“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them
His covenant “ (KJV).
Because of this revelation given in Psalm 25:14 knowledge of the Kingdom is sorely
lacking in the Church. With the apostasy, biblical ignorance, and assertive moral
turpitude God has withdrawn from those who could be enlightened regarding the facts of
His Theocratic Kingdom. As a result of this, the concept of the Kingdom has come to
mean almost anything. Typically we see definitions such as:
1. Messiah’s spiritual reign during the Church Age.
2. The Gospel
3. A renewed heart
5. The truth
8. The way of salvation
9. Following the Savior.
10. The world to come
This is hardly an exhaustive list but it provides enough examples to show that there is a
variety of different topics that Bible teachers, theologians, and pastors use to define the
Lord’s Kingdom. There are other sound reasons for this lack of understanding of this
important doctrine. Chief among these is a lack of trust in the Bible.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE KINGDOM IS STRICTLY OBTAINED FROM THE BIBLE
There is no other source for the knowledge of God that He has given to this earth. He is
the center of all things and our Lord Jesus is God in the flesh that came to save us and
during His time on this earth He validated the authenticity of the Scriptures (Mark 12:10;
Luke 4:21; John 7:42; Acts 8:32 etc.).
The Bible claims to the very Word of God (Psalm 19:7, 119:98-99; 2 Samuel 23:2;
Matthew 21:42; Matthew 22:29,31-32,43; Matthew 26:54,56; Mark 12:24,36; John
10:35; Acts 1:16; Acts 28:25; Romans 3:2; Romans 15:4; Galatians 3:8; 2 Timothy 3:16;
Hebrews 3:7; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:19-21etc.). Underlined passages are where Jesus
Himself declared that the so-called experts did not know the Bible.
As such today there a de-emphasis on learning the Bible and what it teaches. Churches do
not teach it fully and accurately. They rely on topical teaching that is fraught with
denominational bias and lack of understanding. Mostly this problem can be attributed to
faulty seminary training or the lack thereof and an over emphasis on relationships
between church members. It has become a man centered training instead of a God
centered training of the Body of Christ. The apostle Paul said if he were just out to please
man instead of God he would not be a servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10). However, this
is what has become of the Church of Jesus Christ. It is a self-serving entity organized to
make the lives of all leaders and congregants richer, healthier, and better off in this life in
general. This is exactly the opposite of what Christ said. The Lord Jesus called life going
to the other side, not here. He also said that the path of getting in was straight and narrow
and few will find it. He also said the path of destruction is wide and most of the world’s
inhabitants will be on that path (Matthew 7:14-15). Inherent with this is a de-emphasis of
Bible prophecy. This is one of the keys to understanding the Kingdom since the Bible
says that Jesus is the Spirit of Bible prophecy (Revelation 19:10). When prophecy is not
taught one of the results is a lack of understanding of the Kingdom and the King Himself.
The inspiration of the Bible is being denied in many churches and seminaries. When this
happens man’s attention turns from the Scripture thinking it has limited value. It becomes
mere speculation and its serious study falls be the wayside, which results in a poor or no
understanding of the Theocratic Kingdom.
GOD IS THE KING IN JESUS CHRIST
The King Himself devised the plan before the foundation of the world of His Theocratic
Kingdom and as such it is of supernatural origin. When Jesus who is supernatural comes
again He will set up the natural earthly kingdom. It will be the realization of the aspect of
the broad concept of the Theocratic Kingdom, which He spoke of while training His
apostles to pray (Matthew 6:10). Men who listen to these things today describe them as
foolishness or strange and not believable. God foresaw this when He gave Isaiah
prophecies 2,700 years ago describing the unbelief that would occur. Men may call this
foolishness, incredible, etc., and from a natural experience position it is a “strange work”
(Isaiah 28:21), “a marvellous work and a wonder, for the wisdom of their wise men shall
perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” because “their fear
toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isaiah 29:13, 14). Isaiah says that the fear of
men is taught superseding the fear of the Lord (Psalm 25:14).
This concept of the Kingdom was known in Israel at the time of Jesus and they were
waiting for it. There is much confusion about the nature, development, and fulfillment
about the Kingdom in the Bible. The concept of the Kingdom as revealed in the entire
Bible is a truth that is developed beginning in the book of Genesis. Many in the Church
teach a “Kingdom Now” theology. This is not how the Bible describes the Kingdom.
Typically what happens when most read the Scripture is what is called allegorical
interpretation. Those who adhere to this sometimes refer to it as, symbolic, figurative,
spiritual or allegorical. The allegorical interpretation of Scripture presents many
difficulties for the communication of God’s Bible. It takes the normal usage of a variety
of grammatical techniques and assumes that since they are used in some instances, all
scripture can be viewed as being allegorical. Sometimes this allegorical method is called
spiritualizing the Scriptures. Some hold that because Christ said His kingdom is not of
this world His Word is also not of this world. Therefore, time and space along with
consistent normal grammatical historical interpretation is not adequate because the Spirit
is eternal and transgresses all time.
Some hold that the literal text is too strong and will offend if read as written. So they
soften it up by teaching that it does not mean what the words appear to mean. So the
allegorical interpretative method creates unique meaning through the interpreter. This
was initially developed during the third century AD so as to not offend the Romans at a
time of emperor worship. In the case of Biblical Hermeneutics the expositor will force his
theology on a passage to promote the theology to his audience. God gave us His Word
and it is of no private interpretation. God wants us to communicate with us.
This is not a credible method of Biblical interpretation since it would render all Scripture
to private interpretation (II Peter 1:20) and no one would ever really know what a passage
meant. God then would have to be viewed as not truly wanting to clearly communicate
with His children.
It is therefore that we make the statement that the nature of, and the things pertaining to,
the Kingdom can only be ascertained within the limits of Scripture. This means that we
do not refer to Creeds, Confessions, Formulas of Doctrine or any denominational
teaching. Only the Scriptures must be used. The Bible being God’s Word is our only
source and we must understand the intimate and internal connection existing between the
Old and New Testaments. They are one unit not two disparate unique bodies of text.
They produce one continuous story.
KINGDOM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD
The establishment of this Kingdom was determined before, and designed or prepared
from, the foundation of the world. As such it is connected with this Supernatural One
who lives outside of time and space. We see this referenced in Psalm 90:2; Matthew
25:34; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; I Peter 1:20 and Revelation 13:8. The
Lord created the Heavenly Kingdom which existed before the earth was formed and
before the Fall of mankind. Many believe that the Kingdom is too complex and obscure
to be easily comprehended. The doctrine of the Kingdom can become better understood
and appreciated with study and a clear presentation by a thorough understanding of the
Whole Counsel of God.
THE KINGDOM WAS OFFERED TO THE JEWS
The prophecies of the Kingdom when interpreted literally provide the expectations and
hopes of the reverent Jews. The plain literal sense of the prophecies teaches that a
Kingdom is coming. It is only found through a literal restoration of the TheocraticDavidic
throne and kingdom as expected by the believing Israelites.1 Peters makes this
point to affirm that no one in the orthodox (reverent) Jewish community denies a
restoration of the Theocratic Jewish Kingdom. The Mosaic Theocracy was an earnest,
introductory, or initiatory form of this Kingdom. Such passages as Deuteronomy 7:6 and
14:2; Romans 11:28 and 9:11, etc., are decisive, that the sovereignty of God chose in the
descendants of Abraham, the Jews, a people through whom should be manifested his
Divine purpose in the salvation of man. The Kingdom was offered to this chosen, elected
nation, as is seen, in Exodus 19:5, 6, where it is declared that if faithful and obedient, it
should be God’s “peculiar treasure above all people,” and it should become “a kingdom
of priests and a holy nation. The Kingdom itself was offered to them is a divine-political
(church and state united) dominion, over which God Himself, as an earthly Ruler,
presides or rules as the Supreme. Moses and the Prophets clearly show this. They do so
by uniting the divine and the political in their instructions; by making God’s commands,
both civil and religious, the sovereign law; by stating that the object of the nation’s call,
and the bestowment of peculiar privileges and power, was the overruling and superseding
of all earthly governments, thus exalting their God and King over all; and by teaching
that through the Kingdom thus established, all nations should ultimately be brought
1 Peters, G. N. H. (1884). The Theocratic Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ (Vol. 1, p. 190). New
York; London: Funk & Wagnalls.
under the subjection and allegiance of the great Messianic King. This is referenced in
Daniel 2:44 and 7:14, 18, 27, etc. The election of Israel embraces a nationality, namely
the natural descendants of Abraham and the chosen son Isaac. It includes them all, so far
as descent in a certain line is concerned (as well as those who may be adopted by the
nation). This is seen as the progeny of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Their descendants of
the flesh and those adopted into Israel appear in the genealogies laid out in Matthew
chapter one and Luke chapter three.
Some term this as “exclusiveness” (but actually necessary, indispensably so, to preserve a
unity in the intended dominion), or by “the middle wall of partition” which divided them
from other nations, or by the declaration of Paul (Romans 9:4 and 11:28), that even to the
unbelieving Jews pertained “the adoption,” i.e. this election in view of national
connection, and that, although “enemies” yet, “as touching the election (i.e. this choice of
the nation), they are beloved for the father’s sake.” In other words, none but a member of
this nation, being a Jew, had this Kingdom offered to him until the election expanded to
include the Gentiles in the Church by way of adoption as the seed of Abraham. The
Gentiles have been adopted into Israel since the time of Moses until the Church was born.
It is a new commonwealth of Jews and Gentiles coming together as a unit. It is important
to look at the impressive words of Moses, Deuteronomy 32:1–43, in which the elect
condition of the nation is delineated, then a deep and long-continued apostasy is
represented as pertaining to this favored nation, followed by prolonged punishment; but
this does not eliminate the nation’s election, for God’s Purpose in reference to it still
stands good, and the promise of the Eternal, Unchangeable is recorded, that the same
elect nation, chastened and scourged, scattered and dispersed, shall be recalled and
exalted in glory. Those Jews who make it into the Kingdom will be a mere remnant. God
will never utterly forsake them, but will remember what He has so often declared, as e.g.
2 Samuel 7:24. The punishment, the scattering and desolation, of the Jewish nation is
itself proof of their election as, e.g. Amos 3:2, declares: “You only have I known of all
the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” This casting
off is only temporary, as evidence e.g. Zechariah 10:6, etc.
It was a form of government under the sole, accessible Headship of God Himself
(Deuteronomy 5, etc.). He was the Supreme Lawgiver in civil and religious affairs
(Deuteronomy 4:12 and 12:32), and when difficult cases required it (Deuteronomy 17:8–
13), the Divine Arbiter or Judge. In brief, the legislative, executive, and judicial power
was vested in Him, and partially delegated to others, to be exercised under a restricted
form (Deuteronomy 16:18, etc.). All the people (Deuteronomy 29:10–13), in their civil,
religious, social, and family relations, were to acknowledge, and be obedient to His
expressed will. He communicated His will according to an ordained manner, and when
not declared, or where there was doubt, the princes or leaders could come for inquiry and
receive specific directions. As an indication and reminder of this Supremacy, all the
people were required at certain times in the year (Deuteronomy 16:16, etc.) to visit the
place of special manifestation, and renew their vows of allegiance. The prophets (e.g.
Isaiah 1:21–24) spoke for God to the highest and lowest, and their rebukes were in the
name of the Supreme Head. According to the sense of the Mosaic constitution, the
Hebrews were erected into a kind of republic under the immediate dominion of Jehovah,
forming a strict theocracy.” One can view the Theocracy “the formal exhibition of God
as King, or Supreme Head of the Commonwealth; so that all authority and law emanated
from Him, and, by necessary consequence, there were not two societies in the ordinary
sense, civil and religious, but a fusion of the two into one body.” Today many people
including Jews reject the view of the Theocracy as being a Divinely ordained purposeful
entity. The Godly blessings that came to the Theocracy are numerous, and precisely such
(e.g. Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28, 30, etc.) as a people here on the earth earnestly
desire to attain. They culminate in the expression (Leviticus 26:12): “I will walk among
you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people,” which is again reiterated
(Revelation 21:3) at the restoration of the Theocracy. The coming Theocracy will be with
Jesus running the government from Jerusalem this will be a merging of Church and State.
As we move throughout the following nine chapters of the book of Ezekiel we will
provide an exposition of the characteristics of the coming Messianic Kingdom as well as
the Messianic Temple where a significant amount of activity will occur.
NEXT MESSAGE: THE PROPHECY AGAINST PART II OF THE MESSIANIC KINGDOM
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