Kingdom of God

INTRODUCTION: The eternal Kingdom of God has qualities unlike any temporal kingdom of man that has been or will ever be, established on earth. Jesus began to teach about the Kingdom of God after John the Baptist was put into prison, and he chose common men to travel with him and to become his apostles. Jesus taught the good news of the Kingdom to large crowds using various parables recorded in the gospels. The Scripture also has passages about a new birth or a new creation, which can be misunderstood and misapplied without the truth of the spiritual meaning. This study is very brief considering all the information in the New Testament about God's Kingdom. Becoming part of God's Kingdom is only through conversion in the heart, by the mercy and grace of Christ Jesus, and it is for His honor and glory.

NOTE: Scripture passages are from the 1769 King James Bible.


A - JESUS BEGAN TO PREACH FIRST IN GALILEE

Mark 1 "1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; 2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

Mark 1 "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. 16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. 17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men. 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets. 20 And straightway he called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him."

Mark 1 "21 And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes. 23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. 26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. 28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee."

COMMENTS: The gospel of Mark opens with the declaration that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that John the Baptist was his messenger who was sent before him as stated in scripture prophecy. Jesus began to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in the district of Galilee, which was where Nazareth was located. Jesus had called some men to follow him and be "fishers of men," and they went into Capernaum. On the Sabbath day Jesus went into the synagogue, and taught. The power he demonstrated when he cast out unclean spirits who had identified him as the "Holy One of God" caused his reputation to spread widely around Galilee.

B - THE KINGDOM OF GOD TAUGHT IN PARABLES

Matthew 13 "10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. 18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower."

Mark 4 "10 And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. 11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: 12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. 13 And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? 14 The sower soweth the word. 15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. 16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; 17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred."

Mark 4 "30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples."

Matthew 13 "34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

COMMENTS: Jesus taught many people about the Kingdom of God publicly with parables, but even his disciples had difficulty understanding the spiritual message. When he was alone with his apostles and other disciples, he responded to a request to explain the parable about the seed that was sown. He began by saying it was given to them to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God. But he used parables so those who are not part of the kingdom would see and hear, but would not have the understanding that could convert them so their sins would be forgiven. Jesus then asked this private group, if they could not understand this parable, how would they understand all parables? This parable is about the Word of God as a seed, and the things that prevent it from producing the "fruit" of serving God from within the heart of man, unless it falls on the good soil of the heart.

Before putting forth the parable of Mark 4:30-34, Jesus asked where would be a place like the Kingdom of God, or to what could it be compared. Then he began with the mustard seed, which emphasized even the smallest of seeds, can grow into the largest of all herbs and provides branches large enough for fowls to lodge under their shadow. Mark wrote that Jesus used many such parables to give out the Word as much as his general audience was able to hear it. Jesus did not speak to them without a parable, but when he was alone with his disciples; he expounded all things to them. These passages from Mark reveal that Jesus gave more detailed explanation to his Apostles and other disciples when they were away from the large crowds. Even with the additional personal explanation, some of those disciples eventually deserted Jesus; and some in our age who have the parables explained in Scripture still fail to accept Jesus as Savior to become part of His Kingdom. The parable in the passage from Matthew 13 carries a very sharp reality of permanent separation of non-believers from believers in the coming Kingdom of God at the end of the present world.

C - THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS NOT OF THIS WORLD

Mark 10 "23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."

Mark 12 "32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question."

John 10 "22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one."

Luke 17 "20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation."

John 18 "33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? 34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? 35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? 36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. 38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all."

Luke 23 "38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise."

COMMENTS: In Mark 10, the disciples were astonished to hear that it is extremely difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom. Many people today still associate wealth with blessings. Jesus restated that anyone who trusts in their riches will find it very hard to enter the Kingdom, but all things are possible with God. Then in Mark 12 a scribe called Jesus master as he said Jesus had spoken the truth that there is only one God: and to love him with all the heart, understanding, soul, and strength; and to love his neighbor as himself is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Jesus responded by telling this scribe he was not far from the Kingdom of God, and this will be the case for those who are genuinely in agreement with that scribe. In John 10 Jesus was at the temple in Solomon's porch when the Jews asked him to tell them plainly if he was the Christ. He said his works done in his Father's name had made that very clear, and that he is one with the Father. He told them they did not believe because they were not of his sheep. His sheep follow him, he gives them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can take them neither away from Jesus nor from the Father.

In Luke 17 the Pharisees demanded that Jesus tell them when the kingdom of God would come. His answer was that it would not be seen by observation, nor would anyone say it is here or there, for it is within you. Then Jesus told his disciples that the days would come when they would desire to see the Son of man again, but they would not see him, and they should not follow anyone who claimed to know where to go to see him. For the Son of man in his day will appear in the way lightning shows from one part of heaven to another. But first he must suffer many things, and be rejected of that generation. John 18 describes the prelude to that suffering as Jesus was in the custody of Pilate with his crucifixion pending. When asked if he was King of the Jews, Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world. Jesus said he came into the world to bear witness to the truth, and every one that is of the truth hears his voice. After saying "what is truth," Pilate told the Jews he could find no fault in Jesus. In Luke 23 one of the thieves on a cross next to Jesus finally honored Jesus as Lord, and Jesus told that man he would be with Jesus in paradise that same day. Death to the body came on the cross, but not to the soul-spirit.

D - BECOMING PART OF THE PROMISED KINGDOM BY A SECOND BIRTH

John 3 "3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

1 Peter 1 "3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

Romans 10 "9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."

1 Corinthians 15 "49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

COMMENTS: Nicodemus was a teacher of the Jewish law, but he was quite puzzled when Jesus told him that no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born again. Nicodemus was thinking in terms of a second physical birth, but Jesus was speaking of physical birth followed by spiritual birth by God. In the Apostle Peter's first letter we read that God the Father through abundant mercy has given each believer a second birth (begotten) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This eternal and undefiled inheritance is reserved in heaven for those kept by the power of God. Paul wrote in Romans that those who declare belief in the Lord Jesus, and have the genuine faith in their heart that God has raised him from the dead, shall be saved. Paul also wrote in 1 Corinthians that because our present body is perishable and not eternal, flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. Some Christians will still be alive at the lat trumpet call: The dead in Christ will then rise, and all believers will together be changed instantly because the mortal body will be replaced by an immortal one to receive the eternal inheritance in heaven. .

E - SEALED BY THE GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

2 Corinthians 5 "1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: 3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. 5 Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. 6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

Ephesians 1 "3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

Ephesians 4 "29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour."

Jude 1 "17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; 18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. 19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."

COMMENTS: God seals with His Holy Spirit each one who believes the gospel of Christ, and that guarantees their mortal body will be replaced with an immortal dwelling four the soul. When the believer's soul is absent from the body they will be present with the LORD. We who have trusted Christ have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ according as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world. This is to the praise of His glorious grace that we have become holy and without blame as children before God by redemption through the blood of Christ. After the council of his will In the fullness of times he will gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, to the praise of His glory.

While we are still on earth in our mortal body, we should speak in ways that can encourage and minister grace to those who hear us. Vile, angry, bitter, or malicious words will cause grief to the Holy Spirit with which we have been sealed to the day of redemption. God's forgiveness is because of Christ's sacrifice, so a forgiven believer should be kind and forgiving to others, as a demonstration of the love Christ has bestowed upon them. Jude reminded his readers that the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ had warned about mockers in the last times who would be sensual, who separate themselves, having not the Spirit. But those who know the love of God should continue to build up their holy faith with prayers, knowing the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Show that form of compassion to those who may be open to hear, and perhaps even witness to some as if to pull them out of the impending fire of hell. The way of life of the latter may make it difficult for them to surrender to the ways of the Lord, and caution is needed to avoid any influence of their ungodly lifestyle. It should bring us a joy deep within to serve the only true God and our Savior.

F - ALL OTHER KINGDOMS WILL BE DESTROYED

Isaiah 45 "18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. 19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right. 20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed."

Daniel 2 "43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."

Philippians 2 "5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Isaiah 65 "17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." 2 Peter 3 "13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

Revelation 20 "11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 22:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

COMMENTS: In Isaiah 45 we are told that the LORD is creator of heaven and earth, and he did not create the earth in vain, but that it shall be inhabited. He said he is the LORD and there is none else. Those who seek him will not do so in vain if their hearts are separated from those who set up idols to worship which cannot save them. The LORD has declared from ancient times that he is a just God and a Savior: there is no other God for people all around the earth to look to for salvation. He has declared by His own righteous and irrevocable oath that to Him shall every knee bow and every tongue confess that he is LORD. But every person who has rejected His salvation will have everlasting shame.

Isaiah's writings were set down near the end of the line of kings in Judah before foreign domination deposed the last king for the children of Israel, and many Jews were taken into captivity. While Daniel had risen to a prominent position as an exile in a majestic pagan kingdom, God gave him the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream about the future end of all earthly kingdoms. Some of the kingdoms at the time of the end will be weak while others are strong, but they will not be able to be joined together. The rock cut from the mountain without hands will destroy all of those kingdoms and establish a kingdom that will stand forever. Daniel told the king that the great God had given the dream to show what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

The Apostle Paul wrote that the believer is to follow the example of Christ to be humble and obedient. Christ knew he was equal with God when he was in the form of God. But he made himself of no reputation when he took upon himself the form of a servant being made in the likeness of men. He humbled himself to obediently submit to death on a cross. Wherefore God has highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven and earth and under the earth; and that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Apostle John recorded in Revelation what God had shown him of the great white throne of judgment, and the book of life. Death and hell were cast into the lake of fire, and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire which is the second death. John saw a new heaven and a new earth with no more sea; and the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven. A great voice out of heaven said God will dwell with men to be their God, and they shall be His people. God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain: for the former things are passed away and all things are made new: it is done! God existed before time because He is eternal, and he will freely give that water of eternal life to those who overcome to thirst for the inheritance in the holiness of God. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the Lake of Fire: which is the second death.

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

Lord Jesus, you began your public ministry in the district of Galilee that had been home for your earthly family, rather than immediately going to Jerusalem to be examined by the Jewish leaders. This reminded me that you came to spread the gospel of salvation to all classes of people. Your purpose and many of the steps in the process of your ministry fulfilled prophecy to demonstrate who you are. Thank you Lord for the way you presented parables to the crowds, and then gave explanation to your disciples as recorded in Scripture. I willingly confess with my mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and I believe in my heart that Christ arose from the dead. I believe that I will share in the inheritance in heaven because through mercy and grace I have been sealed by the Holy Spirit unto redemption. This is the new birth that has reserved an imperishable eternal body for my spirit at the time appointed when I am taken from my body of flesh and blood.

Lord forgives me for my weakness as I sometimes fail to follow the instructions for believers to avoid corrupt words from the mouth, and also to avoid unkind acts to others. I do not want to grieve the Holy Spirit that you have given to keep me unto the day of redemption. Please lead me to put away all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, malice, and evil words. Help me by your strength within me to be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving; as I remember how much you have forgiven me. I believe since the time when you came into the world as you took upon yourself flesh, that we have been in the last times, and there will be many mockers of the truth who have rejected the gift of the Holy Spirit for salvation. Guide me Lord to use the tools you have given me to offer your truth to some who show an interest; and to know if you are leading me to cautiously share with those who seem hopelessly lost. I believe you are able to keep me from falling and to present me faultless before the presence of your glory in heaven. I believe it has been your design from before creation that the many centuries of kingdoms on earth will at the time you have determined be destroyed by the coming of Christ in His glory. Many prophecies such as those within Isaiah, Daniel, Philippians, and Revelation show the unfolding of your predetermined and unstoppable plans. All who have rejected the only way of salvation will face never ending shame. LORD you have declared that there is no other God but you: a just God and a Savior. You are the only hope for all mankind over all the face of the earth and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of the Father. So I add my voice to that of Jude and offer my praise and thanksgiving. To the only wise God our Savior, to you alone belongs all glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Hallelujah, Amen!

Published 26 September 2018