Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Thy Kingdom Come


When a disciple asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus included a request be made for the kingdom promised by the prophets (Jer 23:5, Dan 2:44, Is 9:7) to be established. That this was imperfectly understood can be seen in the expectations that many had (Mat 18:1, Act 1:6, Lu 14:15).

The common idea of the kingdom that was held seemed not to include the promises of a new covenant (Jer 31:31). There were to be supernatural changes in the people of Israel (Jer 31:33-34). This change requirement seemed to have not been understood by Nicodemus (Jn 3:3-10), but was expected to be known (Eze 36:25-27).

There was an idea of a Messiah that was to come (Is 59:20-21). However, there did not seem to be an integrated view of the kingdom, Messiah, new covenant, and the changes that would be required. It was also poorly understood that the Messiah would be put to death and be resurrected in spite of prophecies (Is 53, Dan 9:26, Ps 16:10, Ps118:22).

After Jesus ascended into heaven there was still an opportunity for Israel to accept the new covenant and kingdom until the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. During this time there were two gospels (Gal 2:7). The first gospel was the kingdom offer to the nation of Israel. The offer of the kingdom to the nation of Israel was legitimate, the potential was there. As time passed and Israel seemed disinterested, a second gospel was introduced by Paul, that of individual salvation offered to both gentiles (Rom 11:11) and those of Israel. Even though Jesus foretold in a parable that the end would come with three years and then a year off and then the end (Luk 13:7-9), when the Romans came in 66AD and took off a year in 69AD, few saw the connection.

Jesus told the Pharisees that the kingdom would not come as they expected (usually kingdoms were established by conquest). Jesus said that the kingdom was in their midst (Luk 17:20-21). Both John the Baptist and Jesus proclaimed that the kingdom was “at hand”. What was needed was similar to how the first covenant was established (Ex 19:8). God made an offer and it was accepted by the nation. The difference here was that at the time of the first covenant the people had just finished observing the plagues on Egypt and the destruction of the Egyptian army. Their descendants were not interested because most were concerned with their daily activities and their leaders were openly hostile to Jesus.

Jesus told Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world. Many people have taken this to mean that his kingdom was un-worldly or simply spiritual. However, a better understanding might come from consideration of the Greek word Kosmos (world) which has a main component that of order or structure. If we consider that Satan sets the course of this world for now (Eph 2:2), we might see that the structure set by Satan needs to be changed before the kingdom of God can be established.

That it is the structure of this world that needs to change can be born out when Jesus further tells Pilate that if his kingdom was of this world, he would have an army to fight for him (Jn 18:36). We get a deeper insight into this combative character of the world from Daniel. Daniel describes history from his time to ours using the illustration of a statue (Dan 2:32). The various kingdoms and empires he describes have conquest as their common theme. It is the destruction of this statue (Dan 2:44) by the Messiah that represents the change needed for the establishment of the kingdom.

The Greek word "basileia" is translated kingdom, but in Greek had more of the reign of a king in mind  than a political of geographical entity. This is why Christians today can be said to have been placed in the kingdom (Col 1:13). However, the physical kingdom will wait until Christ returns and establishes it.

The “stone” that will destroy the statue is the same stone that the builders rejected (Ps 118:22, Luke 22:2). The supernatural gifts that were experienced by the early church were just a sample of what the new world would be like (Heb 6:5). The writers of the New Testament all expected that this transition to the “new” world would happen in their life time. However, they did not appreciate that it was predicated on the nation of Israel accepting the new covenant. As a result, desperate circumstances will arise in the future, even more severe than those surrounding the flight from Egypt, whereby those of Israel that survive will gladly receive her king (Is 66:8).

Therefore let us join with Israel in earnest prayer, “Thy Kingdom come”.



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