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Chapter 10 - The Almost and Future Kingdom
The offer by Jesus of the kingdom to the nation of Israel was legitimate. However, it required the acceptance by the nation (like the acceptance of the first covenant at Mt. Sinai that established their nation). Everything Jesus did and said was consistent with this offer being made to Israel. Jesus even told his disciples what would be expected of them in this kingdom.
Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. - Mark 16:14-20
Some of the signs that attested to the immanent kingdom were;
1. Miraculous healings including raising the dead.
2. Being filled with the Holy Spirit.
3. Imparting the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands.
4. Speaking in other languages.
5. Speaking the word of God.
Some of the practices observed in anticipation of the kingdom were;
1. The continuation of repentance and water baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
2. A common meal where a reminder of the declaration by Jesus of his blood for the new covenant was observed.
3. Keeping the law and temple observances.
4. Pooling of financial resources.
After the ascension of Jesus and the ministry of the Apostles in Jerusalem and the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit were demonstrated to authenticate their ministry and several thousand people individually trusted in Jesus, the nation as a whole remained uninterested.
There was a theoretical window of opportunity for the nation of Israel to receive her king. From the announcement of the birth of Jesus until the destruction of the temple 70 years later, There was not a single word said or act done by Jesus that would indicate the failure of Israel, It is only with the book of Revelation (written after the destruction of the temple) that the future kingdom is described and prophesied.
The future kingdom will come when a faithful remnant of Jews escape the antichrist and flee Jerusalem to be kept and protected by God 3 1/2 years in the wilderness until Christ returns. This appearance of Christ will then be welcomed and the kingdom established.
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