9. The Gospel Of The Kingdom

 

 

 

This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24.14 NASB)

 

“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11.15 NASB)

 

Lost in a wilderness.

 

Today, without doubt, many, if not most people of the world have a sense within them, perhaps even a groaning, that something is not right in the world; some­thing is amiss. It is as if the whole world is like a mighty engine that is sputtering, as if a cylinder or two is misfiring. On a personal level, it seems that more and more people have a sense that something is not quite right in their lives; some­thing is missing. Even the rich and famous have a void in their lives that they can­not fill. All one has to do is read of the lifestyle of many of them to see that they are searching for something. Not only is there a groaning among men, but even crea­tion seems to be groaning. In fact, the Bible says that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (Romans 8.22 NASB), which implies that something is trying to come forth as if being birthed. Something is afoot as the world and creation groans.

 

If we went throughout the nations of the world and asked people in each nation what are the most pressing issues of our day, the answers would run the gamut, depending on a number of individual, local, national, ethnic and global factors. Obviously, everyone is affected by the first three factors, but more and more we all are being brought into the global sphere and what happens globally affects us all. For instance, instability in oil-producing countries brings an instantaneous rise in gasoline prices that does not discriminate between the rich and the poor nations. Terrorism does not discriminate either.

 

The people of the world look to their leaders for answers, but it seems that they are unable to solve the most pressing national or global challenges. For instance, star­vation, disease, pestilence, genocide and tribal conflicts continue without resolu­tion.

 

The world leaders pass many paper resolutions, or even laws, declaring their intent to deal with the most pressing issues facing mankind, but it soon becomes obvious that their resolutions are not worth the paper they are written on. All the while, people die day after day as the world leaders reveal their impotence to solve real problems. The world often turns to an organization called the United Nations, which is more like disunited nations. The kingdoms (nations) of the world are divided. How can they stand? They cannot!

 

The cry from many is “peace and security,” but there is no lasting peace and secu­rity. People die daily due to global terrorism, war, tribal conflicts, ethnic cleansing, poverty, famine, disease, dramatic shifts in the weather, and the list goes on. Many continue to live in fear and cry out for change, but their cries continue as world leaders pass their meaningless resolutions. After a century in which the world has seen an explosion of technological advancements that are almost miraculous, we have yet to solve the most basic and pressing issues of life that promote the general welfare of people globally.

 

Through Daniel the prophet, we are told that at the time of the end, the end of our present eon, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased (Daniel 12.4 KJV). We have reached the time of the end! There is little doubt that with the onset of the 20th century many began to run to and fro and knowledge increased phenomenally.

 

Many shall run to and fro means that the world population would increase, and this is exactly what has happened in the last century as the population of the world figuratively exploded during this period. In 1804, the world population stood at an estimated 1 billion people, and 123 years later, in 1927, it stood at 2 bil­lion people. But the astonishing fact is that the world grew during the 20th century, so that as the cen­tury ended, the world population had exploded to 6 billion peo­ple. Think about it; more than 4 billion people were added to this earth in less than 100 years. Many are running to and fro in our day!

 

As the world population has exploded so has knowledge. Knowl­edge that once re­quired hundreds of years to ad­vance began to increase exponentially. It is esti­mated that knowledge doubled from the time of Christ to the start of the 20th cen­tury. It then doubled again from 1900 to 1950. However, starting around 1950, knowledge began to explode, so that by the 1960’s, knowledge doubled every two years.

 

Knowledge increase is directly connected to the computer. In the early 1980’s, the personal computer came on the scene and more knowledge and information be­came available to a vast num­ber of peo­ple. Consequently, the various types of me­dia for the movement and presentation of images, data, video, entertainment, etc. grew to amaz­ing levels. The Internet took root in the 90’s and the Information Age came to the entire world. Today, the amount of in­formation avail­able to the com­mon man is beyond any one person’s comprehen­sion.

 

Increased knowledge has led to unbelievable advances in technology that have opened up numer­ous new frontiers, the likes of which have never been seen before, especially in transportation, which has led to an ex­ponential increase in world-wide travel. The driving force for such travel came in the 1950’s with the advent of the jet air­craft engine and commercial airlines. To­day, people can fly around the world in a matter of hours, not days or weeks or months as it was in prior centuries with other modes of transport. Not only this, but man has discovered how to travel into space (the heavenlies) and explore other planets.

 

When the technology revolution began, many said that it would solve world prob­lems and make life much simpler, less complicated. To some degree this is true, for there have been many advancements that have helped life for many. But can we honestly say that our lives have become simpler? For those of us who live in the western world of high-tech gadgets, it seems that our lives have become more complicated, not less complicated. Have our lives become more safe and secure in this nuclear age? Let us be reminded that during this time the world also saw the invention and production of the most sophisticated and destructive weap­onry that mankind has ever known (atomic and nuclear bombs, cruise missiles, bunker-busting bombs); all produced by the USA, a nation founded by men who believed in the Prince of Peace.

 

We must ask ourselves: Has the increase of knowledge and great advancements of technology led to solutions to the most pressing problems of this world that deal with the very heart of man? Have wars and rumors of wars ended? Hardly! Where is world peace? Where is justice? Where is righteousness? Where is love for the many that struggle each day just to survive? Isn’t it time to repent and turn from our destructive ways and become ambassadors of peace?

 

Now, take the matter of economic security and prosperity. The world has seen an explo­sion of wealth among a relatively small number of individuals and nations, while the vast majority live in poverty or struggle to keep up with the many bur­dens of life that have become more and more complicated, even as tech­nology has advanced. In addition, many have been shackled with large debts that must be paid back with interest. As a result, many are in bondage to what must be called the present-day Babylon. The statistic on debt is staggering, for it reaches into the tril­lions of dollars, a number that is beyond the comprehen­sion of most people. Debt of this magnitude saps the life out of society. Perhaps this is why God’s law is against usury (charging interest; see Exodus 22.25; Leviticus 25.36, 37; Deuter­onomy 23.19, 20). In addition, taxes of all kinds continually in­crease, along with the cost of goods and services. Taken together, the nations have been brought into Babylonian captivity, which is like a devouring beast.

 

Take the matter of racism and discrimination, which are issues often raised in the United States. Many thought that globalization, technology and the revolution in communications would pave the way for multicultural societies (diversity is the buzz word) that would bring an end to the harsh way people often treat one an­other. Diversity says: “Let us get along together and live in peace, accepting each other’s views.” This too has been an elusive goal.

 

With the end of the cold war, some thought (hoped) that many of the world dicta­torships and repressive regimes would fall, and the world would be filled with democratic or free and open societies. Surely, change has come throughout the nations of the world; but overall, the goal has been elusive, for there are still oligarchies, dictators, tyrants, and other forms of repressive governments. However, with the rise of global terrorism, even the so-called free societies have been forced to give up some of their freedoms.

 

Many people think that democracy is the answer; but it is not, for it means that the people rule. Consider what happened to ancient Israel when they demanded a king (1 Samuel 8.7). If the people are unrighteous and immoral, then the very fiber of their society will be unrighteous and immoral. Mankind needs to be led into right­eousness and morality, and as will be shown, this is the good message of the king­dom.

 

After September 11, 2001 (9/11), many people flocked to “church,” and there was much talk of the United States, even the rest of the world, being united around a common cause. This too has been an elusive goal. In fact, there is just as much division, perhaps even more, than before 9/11. As for “church” attendance; well, it seems that it is back to business as usual.

 

Mankind cannot solve the most basic issues of life, and now many are determined to tackle the climate of the world, as if they actually can affect this mighty jugger­naut. Their outcry is over global warming. So what do they do? They gather pop stars to give 24-hour worldwide concerts. Instead, why not consider God’s word to us that He is going to shake the heavens and the earth (Haggai 2.6)? Or, consider God’s conversation with Job.

 

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?”… Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades, or loose the cords of Orion? Can you lead forth a constellation in its season, and guide the Bear with her satellites? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens, or fix their rule over the earth? Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that an abundance of water will cover you? Can you send forth lightnings that they may go and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the innermost being or given understanding to the mind? Who can count the clouds by wisdom, or tip the water jars of the heavens, when the dust hardens into a mass and the clods stick together?” (Job 38.4, 28-38 NASB)

 

Sure does sound like God has control of the heavens, as well as the atmosphere of the earth. And yet, it seems as if man shakes his fist at God and says: “Don’t bother us; we can handle this on our own. We’ll have a rock concert!”

 

Surely, mankind’s pollution and waste have altered our beautiful earth, in some measure; but in the debate over manmade global warming, some scientists are not so quick to join the many in their conclusion that man is the sole reason for the planet’s entire climatic changes. They claim that there are other factors that are either beyond the control of man or not fully understood, such as solar activity and the effects of rainfall on climate change. Take note of God’s questions of Job: Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that an abundance of water will cover you? Who can count the clouds by wisdom, or tip the water jars of the heavens, when the dust hardens into a mass and the clods stick together? It sure does sound like this is a mystery hidden in God.

 

Now, what about righteousness and justice? How does the world stand in this regard? Well, not too well. Actually, the word righteous is not very commonly used among the people and leaders of the world. People often cry for justice, but it seems that few cry out for righteousness. Unfortunately, justice to the world today is perverted by the self-centered carnal mind that says: “I have rights. Give me what I want and deserve.” It is all centered on I and me.

 

What is righteousness? The word righteous is an adjective that means “upright, just, virtuous.” The word virtuous means “moral,” and moral means “conformed to right.” In other words, righteousness (a noun) is doing things the morally right way. It is being rightwise, or taking a stand for what is right. By the way, right­eousness and justice go hand-in-hand.

 

The difficulty that arises in our day over such words is that the world has thrown out absolute moral standards and has accepted the humanistic and relativistic view that man has all the answers, but that there are no absolutes in his answers. What matters is what a person thinks, believes or “feels,” as long as one’s views do not interfere with another’s views, which might be just the opposite. What is the fruit of such “enlightened” thinking or “feeling”? Lawless­ness, immorality, injustice and hatred, to name a few, have all increased.

 

It seems as if many have sunk deeper and deeper into a cesspool of im­morality that is flaunted over the airwaves of television and in movies. Violence, sex and homosexuality are just a few of the things that come out of Hollywood by those who are trying to push their anti-God and anti-Christ worldview onto the many. Homosexuality and same-sex marriages are being flaunted as acceptable, for we are told that we must be ac­cepting of people with different lifestyles. It matters not to most people that these lifestyles are called sin according to God’s word (Leviti­cus 20.13; Romans 1.26-27; 1 Corin­thians 6.9-10; Galatians 5.19-21; Revelation 21.8; 22.15). Of course, ones who remind the world of this are labeled as close-minded and mean-spirited.

 

This is all being allowed in the name of freedom that comes from having an open society, which has become a euphemism for “anything goes.” Many see the horror of what is being done in the name of freedom but seem helpless to change it. Of course, there are others who see nothing wrong with it and even embrace it. After all, they say: “What harm will it do; it does not affect my life.” Little do they know that it affects us all!

 

One might counter these statements by stating that we have laws that deal with this sort of thing, and if it is lawful, then how can it be wrong? Well, laws are created by imperfect men who are motivated by many reasons, including power, greed and prestige. In many cases, it seems that they simply give society what it demands in order to maintain their power over the people. If people demand immorality, then they will get immorality. Thus, we have legalized abortions, gambling and pornography. It all leads to bondage to sin and unrighteousness.

 

Consider this: the world has thousands upon thousands upon thousands of laws and ordinances, and yet, they have not been able to stave the tide of lawlessness. The fact of the matter is that the more laws that are enacted, the more lawlessness there is. This is one of the reasons why laws are written in the first place. Of course, there are other reasons, such as to maintain power and control over people’s lives, and in the process enrich the lives of the leaders and the special-interest groups that support them.

 

In a related area, consider the penal system in the United States that is based on punishment (as opposed to rehabilitation and restitution); the prisons are bulging at the seams. Unfortunately, when the incarcerated are released, a very high per­centage of them commit a crime again that will land them back in jail. The criminal justice system is a failure, for it does not bring about true rehabilitation in the heart of the so-called criminals, and does nothing to bring restitution to victims of crime, or to society that has to foot the bill to pay for the incarceration of the con­victed. Everyone loses with this system.

 

Obviously, a discussion of this sort could go on almost endlessly since the world faces innumerable challenges. Some might take exception to this assessment, for they see their lives and the world differently; that is, they see all the good in the world. Undoubtedly, there is much good in the world, along with much evil. This we cannot deny. However, taken in total, it seems as if mankind has lost its com­pass, as if it is wandering in a wilderness and cannot find its way out to reach what it hopes is paradise. What do the lost do when they are in the wilderness? They run to and fro searching for a way out, but they cannot find one, and they will not find one on their own. Even their great wealth of knowledge will not help them.

 

Even the most optimistic among us will one day be faced with the reality that all is not well and that a dramatic change must take place. The history of mankind bears this out, for this world has undergone many dramatic changes that have ushered in new eras. So, what is the solution? Is there truly a solution? The answer is yes! Dramatic change is coming to this world!

 

Righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness.

 

The solution to the world wandering in a wilderness, running to and fro, will not be discovered in more resolutions, in more technology, or even in more weaponry to keep the nations in check. No; the solution will be discovered when the longing of man’s heart is satisfied. This is why man is wandering to and fro; the many are searching to satisfy a longing that perhaps they cannot even express. But, for what does mankind long? Deep down in the heart of man, in his spirit, what does he desire the most? I doubt that many would verbalize it this way; but, based on the word of God, I believe that the longing of mankind is for righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness. This is what the world desperately needs.

 

But is it possible for these things to overtake the world and lead us into the paradise for which many groan, including creation itself? And if so, how will righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness overtake the world? From whom or from where will these things come? If mankind has not been able to pull off any of this on a grand scale in its 6,000-year history, then what great change will take place to bring it about?

 

There is good news to report. Change is coming! A wonderful, marvelous change!

 

Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98.8-9 NASB)

 

The kingdoms of this world are about to be overtaken by a new kingdom, the King­dom of Righteousness and Peace. No longer will this world be divided by many kingdoms with many views. No longer will lawlessness be accepted or excused. No longer will injustice and unrighteousness be the order of the day. The day is com­ing when there will be one kingdom and one king. This day is when the reign of the heavens comes to this earth. It is the Kingdom of God that is coming, and it will come when God the Father sends His King of kings and Lord of lords to this earth. It is the kingdom of the Son of God’s love (Colossians 1.13). The name of this king is Jesus, the Son of God, who died on a stake (cross) and rose from among the dead, and then ascended to the throne of God in heaven. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

 

Jesus holds many titles. He is the Son of the Most High, the Christ―the “Anointed One,” the Holy One, the Righteous, the Son of Mankind, the Prince of Peace, the Faithful and True, the Word of God, the Wisdom of God, the Wonderful Counselor, the Alpha and the Omega and the Living One, to name a few. His titles alone indi­cate that He will be a ruler like no other that this earth has ever seen or will ever see. He is not a tyrant or a dictator. He is the Lover and Friend of all man­kind.

 

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. (John 15.13 NASB)

 

We know love by this, that He [Jesus] laid down His life for us. (1 John 3.16 NASB [added by writer])

 

These verses alone verify that the Son of God is the Lover and Friend of all mankind.

 

The Lover and Friend of all is coming to reign over the kingdom of this world. A day is coming when all the kingdoms of this earth and all the cities of the nations will fall, and the restoration of all things will begin to take hold on the earth that will lead to the return of God’s King. Then this earth will truly experience a renascence the likes of which it has never experienced. It will be the age (eon) of righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness.

 

The kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.

 

In that day, all heaven will declare the glorious arrival of the King and His King­dom that will overtake the entire world.

 

And the seventh messenger trumpets. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of this world became our Lord’s and His Christ’s, and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons! Amen!” (Revelation 11.15 CV)

 

Heaven will open to reveal the most marvelous and loving King that this earth will ever know. He is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords. In other words, He is the Sovereign of this earth, even the Sovereign of the entire universe. He is the Lord our Righteousness!

 

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19.11-16 NASB)

 

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23.5-6 NASB)

 

His arrival was prophesied thousands of years ago. In part, it was fulfilled over 2,000 years ago when He came to this earth and was born of a virgin. He is called Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Matthew 1.23).

 

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore [lit. henceforth and age-abiding, or eonian]. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9.6-7 NASB [REB/CV])

 

“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.” (Jeremiah 33.15 NASB)

 

A day is coming when God the Father will give His Son the kingdom of this earth to rule all the people.

 

“And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting [lit. age-abiding, or eonian] dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” (Daniel 7.14 NASB [REB/CV])

 

“He shall be great, and Son of the Most High shall He be called. And the Lord God shall be giving Him the throne of David, His father, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for the eons. And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation.” (Luke 1.32-33 CV)

 

Under His reign there will be no end to peace. The old Moravian version of the Bi­ble says in Luke 1.33: And his kingdom shall have no frontier. We could say that the greatness of His empire shall have no border. He will uphold His kingdom with justice and righteousness. He will act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. His lovingkindness will fill all the earth. The very foundation of His glorious throne is righteousness and justice, for He loves righteousness and justice.

 

Just think of the glory that will come upon this earth. There will be no limits to His righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness.

 

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the loving­kindness of the LORD. (Psalm 33.5 NASB)

 

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lov­ing­kindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are ex­alted. For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted. (Psalm 89.14-17 NASB)

 

A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness. (Isaiah 16.5 NASB)

 

Again, who is this King? His name is Jesus and He is the Son of God. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1.29). He died for the sin of the world and rose from the grave to bring life to all mankind.

 

I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Revelation 1.8 NASB)

 

“Do not fear! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One: and I became dead, and lo! living am I for the eons of the eons. (Amen!) And I have the keys of death and of the unseen.” (Revelation 1.17b-18 CV)

 

Can you imagine a greater king than this one? Has the world ever had a king who is both its Lover and Friend? Has it ever had a king who actually loves righteousness and justice? Has the world ever had a king that willingly died to save the world? Has the world ever had a king that has conquered sin and death and now sits at the right hand of God the Father on high (Ephesians 1.20; Colossians 3.1)? Has the world ever had a king whose sole purpose is to restore all things to God, all in heaven and on earth? God’s King is the Savior of all mankind! He is the kind and loving King of God.

 

The renascence.

 

When He walked this earth over 2,000 years ago, Jesus declared to His twelve dis­ciples: “Verily, I am saying to you that you who follow Me, in the renascence whenever the Son of Mankind should be seated on the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19.28 CV). In the Greek, the word for renascence is palingenesia, which means “again-becoming.” When the Son of Mankind sits on His throne of glory, the earth will be restored to the condition that it was meant to be, most likely to the pristine state to which it was restored in Adam’s day before he sinned. The earth will be born again and will no longer groan, but will be set free from its slav­ery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8.21).

 

Hosea the prophet was given a tremendous view of the hope of this earth.

 

“In that day I will also make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land, and will make them lie down in safety. I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice, in lovingkindness and in compas­sion, and I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. Then you will know the LORD. It will come about in that day that I will respond,” declares the LORD. “I will respond to the heavens, and they will respond to the earth, and the earth will respond to the grain, to the new wine and to the oil, and they will respond to Jezreel. I will sow her for Myself in the land. I will also have compassion on her who had not obtained compassion, and I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they will say, ‘You are my God!’” (Hosea 2.18-23 NASB)

 

Mankind is not destined for man’s version of hell; mankind is destined for glory. The King is the one who will bring restoration to all things, as all the nations begin to turn to God. Consider what the Psalmists had to say about the matter.

 

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us–Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. (Psalm 67.1-7 NASB)

 

And let all kings bow down before him, all nations serve him. For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. He will have compassion on the poor and needy, and the lives of the needy he will save. He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, and their blood will be precious in his sight; so may he live, and may the gold of Sheba be given to him; and let them pray for him continually; let them bless him all day long. May there be abundance of grain in the earth on top of the mountains; its fruit will wave like the cedars of Lebanon; and may those from the city flourish like vegetation of the earth. May his name endure forever; may his name increase as long as the sun shines; and let men bless themselves by him; let all nations call him blessed. Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. (Psalm 72.11-19 NASB)

 

All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. (Psalm 86.9-10 NASB)

 

All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.” Selah. (Psalm 66.4 NASB)

 

Consider the glory of what is contained in these few verses, which encompass not only the nations, but the whole earth. This is the Gospel of the Kingdom! Consider this other prophecy from Isaiah.

 

Now it will come about that in the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills; and all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths. For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And He will judge between the na­tions, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war. (Isaiah 2.2-4 NASB)

 

War will cease, and the Lord will judge the nations and settle all disputes according to His law. The nations will even desire to learn the ways of the Lord. This is in full keeping with another word from Isaiah: For when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26.9 NASB).

 

Learning righteousness will not be an overnight task; it will take all of the next eon (age) of 1,000-years, which is the day of the Lord, and then continue on a new earth in the day of God, which is an eon of unknown length, perhaps thousands of years.

 

Most alive on earth when the Lord comes at the end of our present wicked eon must learn righteousness. Some alive on the earth will already have come into the place of righteousness, for they will have believed in Jesus and conquered through His life. Those who died conquering in faith and in love will be raised from the dead in what is called the first resurrection (Revelation 20.6), the out-resurrection (Philippians 3.11), or the better resurrection (Hebrews 11.35).

 

However, at the end of the next eon, the Millennial Kingdom, the rest of the dead will be resurrected, believers who did not conquer and all unbelievers, and they will face the great white throne to be judged according to God’s fiery law. The believers will be saved, yet so as through fire (1 Corinthians 3.15).  The unbelievers must be taught righteousness as they make restitution for their transgressions and are purged of all unrighte­ousness and sin, as their fleshly works go into what is called the second death. They will be saved through the fiery law of God (lake of fire) (see Deuteronomy 4.4; 33.2-3; Psalm 29.7; Isaiah 4.4). Be assured, they too one day will come out of this spiritual fire (Romans 7.14) of judg­ment and enter into the joy of the Lord. We are not told how long such ones will be in this state of judgment, but we do know that one day it will end, for we know that the last enemy, death, will be abolished (1 Corinthians 15.26).

 

All types of death will end in that day, and all mankind from Adam to the last human born on earth will be made alive in Christ, for in Adam all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified (made alive) (1 Corinthians 15.22 CV).

 

Every knee and every tongue.

 

It is God’s desire and will that all will bow the knee to His Son, for God wills that all mankind be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2.4).

 

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.9-11 NASB)

 

Paul quoted Isaiah the prophet and added to it, as the spirit of God led.

 

“Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, that to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” (Isaiah 45.22-23 NASB)

 

Later in Isaiah, the Lord makes it abundantly clear that nothing will stop Him from accomplishing His purpose. He has told us the end from the beginning and His purpose will be established. In fact, God sounds pretty determined to accomplish what He has set out to do in and through His Son.

 

“Remember the former things long past, for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the be­ginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure….’” (Isaiah 46.9-10 NASB)

 

There are multitudes on the earth today that have not bowed the knee, and there are countless numbers in the grave that died, never having heard of Jesus, the Son of God, and there are others who did hear but never believed on Him. All of them must be brought into judgment for the purpose of the restoration and reconcilia­tion of all things. In the eons to come, they will learn righteousness as they are taught God’s law and see the great benefit of God’s ways, and their hearts are over­whelmed with the love of God, for God is love. When all is accomplished, right­eousness and glory will fill the earth, and love will be the order of the day. It will take time for all this to come into fullness, but be assured that it will come in God’s time and in God’s way, for it has been set in the concrete of God’s will that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In that day, Scripture will be fulfilled.

 

Then comes the end [the end of the grand and glorious eon of the eons], when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abol­ished is death. For HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him.

 

When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15.24-28 NASB [added by writer])

 

God will be All in all. Nothing will be left out of God’s All. All mankind will be saved into immortality (forever beyond death), and will be brought into the glory of God, and will be bathed in the love of God.

 

This is the good news of the Kingdom of God!

 

God is love.

 

I believe that in our day, God’s purpose is grossly misunderstood, and that His very character has been grossly misrepresented. God is love, and all that He does is based on His love. After all, for thus God loves the world, so that He gives His only begotten Son (John 3.16 CV). God loves and gives in the present, not just in the past. Consider the words of John, the apostle of love.

 

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4.7-11 NASB)

 

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confi­dence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this command­ment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. (1 John 4.16-21 NASB)

 

Please take note that love is a commandment; it is God’s greatest law.

 

Unfortunately, the world at large has rejected God’s love as manifested through His Son. Why? Some people have never heard of Him. However, many that have heard of Him have rejected Him because they do not know Him, and the spirit of God has not opened their ears to hear. They think He is like any other man. They think He is a hard taskmaster who is out to seek revenge. They think His right­eousness and justice will take away their freedom and their will to do as they please. But don’t you think that the world would be much better off being ruled by a Friend and a Lover? Even the most hardened hearts, whether they know it or not, deep down long to be loved.

 

Are things really getting better?

 

The question that the people of the world need to ask themselves is this: Is the world getting any better under the rule of man?

 

World leaders reject God’s King because they know that when He comes, He will replace them and establish His own government on the earth. Actually, this is nothing new, for when He came to this earth 2,000 years ago, the ones who knew who He was rejected Him, and even demanded that He be crucified, because they did not want to lose their power and prestige (Matthew 21.33-41). It is no different in our day. Who among our world leaders has declared publicly that he would lay down his crown willingly if only Jesus would come today? Who is declaring: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3.30).

 

Please do not take this to mean that all leaders are the same. Some leaders are righteous, some are not. Some are quite capable, some are not. Some are well-meaning, trying to do what they think is right, some are not. Some are good leaders, some are evil leaders. Some succeed in what they set out to do, some fail. But regardless of the heart of the man, the challenges that the world faces today are beyond any one man. Unfortunately, it appears that even the ones that seem to be good are being drowned out by the mediocre and the self-righteous ones.

 

What is the result? Make no mistake about it; the nations are in an uproar over God and His ways. They might not say it with their lips; however, by their actions the leaders of the nations refuse to humble themselves and yield their power to the Almighty God.

 

Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthen­ware.’” Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Psalm 2.1-12 NASB)

 

In the Bible, there are often stern words that make it seem as if God is so angry and mad that He is determined to wipe man off the face of the earth. There is some truth to this since God did wipe out all but eight of the inhabitants of this earth in Noah’s day, but He has promised not to do that again (Genesis 9.8-17).

 

When those who do not know the heart of God read words such as have been cited, they often conclude that God is mean and vengeful just like man is. Unfortunately, this false impression has come from within the “church of God” that has misrepre­sented God’s heart for His creation, especially man. But those who know His heart and His word know that He is not angry, and He is not mad in the way that man thinks or acts. They know that His anger is not like man’s anger. Rather, they know that He has a purpose and a plan for mankind, and He will ac­complish all that He has set out to do. There may be times that He must take pretty harsh action with mankind, but it is not for total destruction or annihila­tion; rather, it is for recon­ciliation. His actions need to be seen as more like a father disciplining his children, even if it does not seem to be that way during the proc­ess. As the saying goes, Father knows best. God always acts with the end in view, and that view is All.

 

Whom do you trust?

 

I believe that God has given us a prophetic word in the Bible for the people of this earth in this dark hour right before the dawn of a new day.

 

“For the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper with them.” (Jeremiah 2.37 NASB)

 

Whom do you trust in these days of shaking? Do you trust in mankind? Do you trust in leaders that have no solutions? Do you trust in yourself? Do you trust in flesh and blood that cannot inherit the kingdom (1 Corinthians 15.50)? The Lord God has rejected those world leaders in whom you trust. You will not prosper with them. Why? Because God has a much better plan; a glorious plan for this earth!

 

It is time for the people of the world to know that the kingdoms of this world have been judged and that they are about to fall and be replaced by one kingdom that has a foundation built upon righteousness and justice. The world is about to re­ceive a kingdom that cannot be shaken. God has declared: “I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations.”

 

People, do not put your trust in man; put your trust in God!

 

It is not that our leaders are necessarily bad; but, the fact of the matter is that they cannot solve the world problems apart from God and His Son. Further, it is not about which worldview is correct: liberalism or conservatism, socialism or capital­ism, or any other ism that man has created in his own image. It is not about who is right or wrong. It is about the Righteous One of God.

 

The nations might be in an uproar and might be fighting against God’s plan, for they do not want to lose the grip of power that they have over others. But God declares: “I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.

 

It is time to take refuge, not in man or in the leaders of men, but in God’s King. The nations have rejected the Almighty God, the Creator and the Savior of all mankind. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put our confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidences in princes (Psalm 118.8-9 NKJV).

 

Consider these few facts. Europe once was the bastion of Christian faith but has become mostly pagan in its outlook (worldview); many of the nations of Europe have rejected the Almighty God. When the European Union was being formed, they made a conscious decision to make no mention of God in their constitution. They purposely determined to have a secular constitution apart from any divine influence. Essentially, they snubbed their noses at God.

 

The United States has an entirely different history. Its constitution is founded in God. Some who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to form this great country desired to make this a Christian nation under God, a nation to bring the Kingdom of God to the nations, just as the ancient nation of Israel was called to do. However, for this to work required that the leaders be godly men who believe in God’s righteous­ness and justice. Unfortunately, because of the weakness of man, it was not too long before darkness began to creep into the fiber of the nation. Probably, one of the darkest moments was in the 1960’s when the Supreme Court began to make rulings regarding prayer, the Ten Commandments and abortion on demand. God was being pushed out of government. It was tantamount to saying: “We do not need God anymore; we can govern on our own.” Judgment fell upon our nation, and our president was assassinated. In addition, crime, suicides, drug abuse and abortions all dramatically increased. Interestingly, as if not to lose the light of Christ in this darkness, during this same period, the spirit of God raised up among young people what has been called the Jesus movement.

 

Today, there is a continuing bat­tle to maintain a separation of church and state, which was never intended in the constitution. In fact, our founding fathers believed that the only way to effectively govern was under God, not under man. One nation under God! Sadly, we are now a divided nation with many gods made in the image of man, and this is being manifested in the laws of the land.

 

To show how foolish the rule of man is becoming, consider the movement to pass special hate crime laws. According to man’s thinking, some crimes (but not all) are committed because one hates another person because of race, religion, sexual orientation and who knows what else. To convict someone, the judge or jury would have to get into the mind of the person to determine his or her true motive. Who can do this other than the spirit of God? The foolishness of this thinking is exposed by the fact that the very foundation of all crime against others, apart from pure accidents, is hate. The opposite of hate is love, and if we loved each other as we ought, then there would be no crime, period! So, which crimes are we to single out as hate crimes?

 

God shakes the heavens and the earth.

 

As the world continues its downward slide into immorality and lawlessness, God Himself is holding His hand against man to frustrate his ways, so that he cannot achieve what he desires. In other words, God is keeping the world wandering as if in a wilderness until the time is right for His King. The Lord does this in order to bring about the plans of His heart and to bring in the inheritance of the rightful King of the nations (Psalm 2).

 

The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations; He frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart from generation to generation. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. (Psalm 33.10-12 NASB)

 

Through Haggai, a Hebrew prophet, the Lord gives us a similar word for the eon (age) in which we live.

 

I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting winds, mildew and hail, yet you did not come back to Me.” (Haggai 2.17 NASB)

 

“For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. “The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.” (Haggai 2.6-9 NASB)

 

I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.” (Haggai 2.21-22 NASB)

 

Many centuries later, the same words were quoted to show that they apply to the end of our present wicked eon or age.

 

And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “YET ONCE MORE I WILL SHAKE NOT ONLY THE EARTH, BUT ALSO THE HEAVEN.” This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we receive a king­dom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12.26-29 NASB)

 

Obviously, there is much that could and should be said about these verses, but the point is this: God Himself holds back mankind, even smites it as needed to bring the nations to the end of themselves. He alone shakes the heavens and the earth to bring about His purpose. The nations cannot achieve the end that they long for without God, and ultimately God will block every attempt on their part to do so, as the nations shake their fist at God in defiance of His perfect will.

 

He purposely frustrates the action of the nations, allows them to be blinded, and brings on judgment to accomplish His purpose and plan. After all, God is the Sovereign and Supreme of His universe.

 

As an aside, it appears that all this shaking is giving many Americans a headache. A recent article in our local newspaper was titled: Americans’ painkiller use is up sharply. Analysis shows that sales of five major pain medications increased 90 percent from 1997-2005. God’s remedy is His Son, and until this once great nation and all the nations of the world repent and cry out to God, there will be more judgments. Rather than turn to drugs, our country needs to turn back to Jesus!

 

Who do you think allowed the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attack to happen?

 

9/11 was a mighty declaration that the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ is coming. During February, 1995, as I was seeking the Lord, I heard: “When the structures crumble, testify of My kingdom.” During the months that preceded 9/11, I began to be exercised over what might be coming, perhaps even a catastrophic event. I was not alone in this sensing, for I have read of others that had the same sensing in that period. On September 11, 2001, I watched television and in real-time saw the two structures crumbling down to the earth.

 

Two is the number of witness. The two fallen towers were a witness of God’s judgment and the coming of His kingdom. Babylon will soon fall in one hour, the time it took for the towers to fall, and the time that Scripture says it will take for Babylon the great to fall (Revelation 18.10).

 

Since that day in 2001, I have been testifying of the Kingdom of Christ that is not only coming to be manifested in this earth, but which also resides in the hearts of those who believe in this day. I make no claim to be a prophet, but I am reminded of the word to Amos: Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets (Amos 3.7).

 

Nothing happens in God’s creation apart from His will. So why would He allow such evil to occur? He would allow it to bring people to the point of repentance. It is His way of getting our attention and giving us a chance to turn from our ways and humble ourselves before the Almighty God; otherwise, He will bring more chastening upon us until our hearts are turned to Him and seek Him for the answers. But who has turned? What nations have truly turned back to God? Has the United States made such a turn yet? Have the nations of the world made the turn? At this point, it appears that the answer is no. Consequently, the nations of the world are kept wandering, as if in a wilderness with no compass to direct them into the true paradise for which they long.

 

As I write this chapter, the earth and the world system (kosmos) is under­going more shaking. We have seen bridges collapse from Minneapolis to China; the US Stock Market fall 1,000 points in less than one month and shaking all the world financial markets; weather extremes across the globe that go from drought and extreme temperatures to tor­rential rains and major flooding; an 8.0 earth­quake in Peru that killed hundreds; half the land of the nation of Greece ravaged by smoke and fire; and two major hurricanes hitting central America simultaneously.

 

Surely, these are shakings, which cause the many to live in fear and un­certainty of what will come next. From the Lord’s per­spective, the purpose of shaking is to cause mankind to wake up and to look up. No one will ever be able to accuse the Lord of not warning of His coming judgment. It seems to me that He allows pauses in between major events to give the inhabi­tants of the world time to consider their ways; but the day will come when the time is up, and God’s ap­pointed time for judgment of mystery Babylon will come, and He will bring our wicked eon to its rightful conclusion. However, this is good news because it means that the kingdom of the Son of His love is coming, and He will rule over this earth in righteousness and justice.

 

Until that glorious day, it is clear that the unbelieving world has been blinded by the god of this age.

 

But even if our Gospel has been hidden, it has been hidden among the ones perishing, among whom the god of this age blinded the minds of the unbelieving, in order for the illumination of the Gospel of the glory of Christ not to shine on them, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4.3-4 ALT)

 

The world has been fed a lie that says if it allows God to rule in the affairs of state, then the people will lose their freedom to do what they want. After all, in their thinking, God is a hard taskmaster and will deny them all the good they desire. In other words, the Creator of the entire universe does not know how to take care of mankind that He loves and was created to be in His image. Oh, the foolishness of man’s wisdom. Ask yourself: Has man done such a good job on his own without God? Think about it!

 

Some world leaders also believe the lie that if they relinquish any of their so-called power to God, then they will not be able to control the people. But they fail to rec­ognize that God rules in the kingdom of men (Daniel 4.17), whether they know it or not. God alone has placed them in their position of authority, and they serve at the discretion of God. In their ignorance and arrogance, they are like Nebuchadnezzar, the great Babylonian king, who failed to acknowledge that the heavens do rule (Daniel 4.26), and as such, God rules in the kingdom of men. God is the supreme power of the universe, and all leaders are delegated their authority by God (Daniel 4.25, 32; Romans 13.1). No leader among men has absolute power, only God does.

 

“At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.” (Jeremiah 18.7-10 NASB)

 

Also, leaders have bought into the lie that to have God in government will offend those who do not believe in God. According to their thinking, they have to make room for all types of faiths and all gods because this is what makes a society free. After all, the enlightened thinking of man declares that there are no absolutes when it comes to faith. This too is a lie. It is a pathway to bondage and failure.

 

Because of all this and more, the nations of the world are wandering in a godless and lawless wilderness, which leads to another point that many do not want to hear, including many Christians; it has to do with the law of God.

 

The nations of the world have rejected God and His Son, and have rejected His divine moral law, which is all about righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkind­ness. Liv­ing apart from God’s standard, the world is godless and lawless, and becoming in­creasingly loveless. The result is unrighteousness and injustice, on account of which the whole world is groaning under the weight of its sin, which is lawlessness. When there is lawlessness, love becomes cold, and there is no peace. It is a vicious cycle from which there is only one way out, and that is God’s way.

 

If all followed God’s command to love, then there would be no crime, period. If all followed God’s Ten Commandments, then there would be no crime, for the royal law of love, which is the law of liberty, sums up all the commandments.

 

Saved by grace through faith.

 

Before proceeding into this part of the discussion, I must emphasize that we are saved by grace through faith; we are not saved by the works of the law. We are saved by the grace of God through faith and not on the basis of works (Ephesians 2.8-9). No man is justified by the works of the law (Romans 3.20); we are justified by His grace apart from the works of the law (Romans 3.24, 28; Galatians 2.16). This is important as we consider the place that the law has in the fulfillment of God’s purpose and plan.

 

God’s law.

 

When God’s King takes the reign over this earth, how do you think righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness will come about? Will this just happen? Will people’s hearts change in an instant? Hardly! We need to keep in mind that most on earth in the next eon will be mortal; meaning, they will continue to have bodies of flesh and blood that are subject to death and sin.

 

The nations must learn these things and be governed accordingly. But how will this be done? What will lead to true righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkind­ness? How will anyone know right from wrong, good from bad? How will anyone know what righteousness is without some standard by which to judge? How will justice be identified without some standard?

 

The answer is discovered in the law of God, which is God’s standard that defines righteousness and justice. The exercise of righteousness and justice will determine whether there will be lasting peace. Love is what binds it all together, for this is the very foundation of God’s divine law. In fact, love sums up all the law of God (Romans 13.10). Who are we to question the standard set for us by our Creator? Does not the Potter have the right over His clay pots? Do we have the right to question His wisdom? After all, we are merely the created, not the Creator. See Romans 9.14-26.

 

The Bible says that sin is lawlessness (1 John 3.4). The opposite of lawlessness is obedience to the law; therefore, if we want to know what sin looks like we must know the law of God. Some might ask what the law of God is. Well, the first place to look is to the Ten Commandments given to Moses at Mount Sinai (Exodus 20.1-17). The second place to look is to Jesus Himself, the Word of God, who came to fulfill the law of God. He did not do away with the law, as so many today believe, but to fulfill it. We must hear His word (law).

 

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5.17-19 NASB)

 

Notice that the law will continue until the heavens and earth pass away. If He meant the heavens and the earth of our day, then this means the law will end after the next eon comes to a close and God’s day (2 Peter 3.12) is ushered in. And yet, we know that there will be a new heaven and earth, which would mean that the law might never pass away. After all, God will write His law on hearts.

 

When He comes to this earth to reign as King, Jesus’ mission will be to rule ac­cording to the law of God until all is accomplished that His Father has given Him to do. This is what it means when the word of God says that He will rule with a rod of iron. He will execute the law of God impartially, for God does not show favorit­ism (Acts 10.34; 1 Peter 1.17).

 

Love, the greatest!

 

While He walked on this earth the first time, Jesus spoke many things. As the day of the cross neared and He had to depart this world through death and resurrec­tion from among the dead, Jesus commanded His disciples.

 

And He said to him, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22.37-40 NASB)

 

Love is the ultimate law of God, for it is the foundation of the Law and the Proph­ets. Everything will be judged by how much love was manifested. All mankind will be judged by their works of love or their works that lacked love.

 

Because of its relationship to all God’s law, love grows cold and ceases among lawbreakers; they become lawless. When there is lawlessness (i.e., one acts apart from God’s law), there is no love.

 

What is a sign that lawlessness is taking hold? Governments have to issue more laws to deal with the lawlessness. What do we see happening in the world today? More and more laws are being enacted every year. Is God’s law being ignored in our day? You bet! How can we expect people to obey God’s law if they ignore man’s law? This should be a warning to us.

 

Many false prophets will rise up and lead multitudes astray; and because of the prevalent disregard of God’s law the love of the great majority will grow cold; but those who stand firm to the End shall be saved. (Matthew 24.11-13 WNT)

 

This particular translation truly captures the heart of the matter. A rampant disregard of God’s law leads to the loss of love. When we meet someone who seems to lack love, we call such a person coldhearted. Their love has grown cold; it is rigid and they are lacking warmth. It is tantamount to being dead!

 

So the law of God and love are inseparable. Break the law (i.e., become lawless), then love grows cold and dies. Become loveless (i.e., not laying down one’s life for another’s life), then you are breaking God’s law, and you are a lawbreaker (i.e., a lawless one).

 

James called the commandment to love the royal law.

 

If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. (James 2.8 NASB)

 

The Greek word for royal is basilikos, which means “belonging to (or befitting) the sovereign; the king’s.” This law belongs to the King, the Sovereign of all. The Greek word for love is agapaō, which is the verb form of the love that is attributed to God. We are commanded to love our neighbors unconditionally as we love our­selves unconditionally. Love is the fulfillment of the law (Romans 13.10).

 

Jesus Himself has given us the commandment to love.

 

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14.15 NASB)

 

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14.23-24 NASB)

 

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15.12-13 NASB)

 

Consider Jesus’ progression of thought. First, He tells His disciples to keep His commandments out of love for Him. Then, He defines His commandments as His word. Those who keep His word (commandments, laws) will be loved by the Father. So now we have a reciprocal love. Love Me, keep My word and My Father will love you in turn. Finally, love itself is the commandment of Jesus to His disciples. His commandment to us is to love one another as He has loved us.

 

In his first epistle, John, the apostle of love, wrote: This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us (1 John 3.23 NASB).

 

The problem today is that most of the world does not believe in Jesus Christ as God’s Son. However, faith (trust in the Son) and love (love of the Son) go hand-in-hand. Only in Jesus will mankind truly know how to love and fulfill this com­mand. Without Jesus the law becomes merely a set of do’s and don’ts; however, this is not the intent of the law. Its intent is to lead the lawless to Christ, for in Christ the law of God becomes a matter of life and intuitively knowing the good to do out of sacrificial, unconditional love. There is no life in do’s and don’ts. Life is in love, for love knows what to do without hesitation or comparison or compromise!

 

The law of God is not legalism; it is liberty. It does not mean that mankind must perform animal sacrifices, circumcision and other physical rites as ordained under the old covenant. The law must be applied in the light of the new covenant. For those who have received the life of Christ and the spirit of God, the law is meant to be applied spiritually, spiritual to spiritual. God has promised that under His new covenant, He will put His laws into minds and will write them on hearts (Hebrews 8.10), and this He does by His spirit.

 

With spiritual sight, we see that there is no need for animal sacrifices year after year because the body of Jesus Christ has been offered once for all (Hebrews 10.10). He is the sacrifice for sin. There is no need for circumcision of the flesh, for under the new covenant we need a circumcision of the heart (Romans 2.29). There is no longer an elite class of priests that enter the holy of holies once a year, for to­day there is a new priesthood, the body of believers, who have a hope that enters within the veil (Hebrews 6.19). Further, God’s moral law has not been done away with but has been taken to greater heights (e.g., Matthew 5.20; 21-22; 27-29; 44). The foundation of the Ten Commandments and all the law is love; it is no longer an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, for the command is to love your ene­mies and lay down your life for one another (Matthew 5.38-48; 1 John 3.16).

 

Learn righteousness.

 

Today, the nations do not know God’s law in this way. When God’s King comes to reign over this earth, the nations will not have spiritual discernment. They will have to learn righteousness. Isaiah the prophet declared: For when the earth ex­periences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26.9 NASB). In other words, during the reign of God’s Son, the earth will be brought into the judgment of God, which is not for punishment or total annihila­tion but for correction, and through correction they will learn righteousness.

 

Today, if the nations of the earth all joined together with one purpose to know the law of God and to administer it faithfully and impartially, then this earth would become a true paradise for mankind. There would no longer be disease. There would be plenty of food. No one would have to worry about what they wear. There would no longer be wars or any conflicts among nations, tribes or ethnics. The land would bear much fruit, for rain would come in due season. Even the animals would be at peace with mankind.

 

How do we know this is true? Well, the Bible gives us some indication when the Lord instructed the ancient nation of Israel and told them what would happen if they followed His law.

 

If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments [law] so as to carry them out, then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land.” (Leviticus 26.3-6 NASB [added by writer])

 

If they did not walk in His statutes and keep His commandments, then these things would not happen, and they would experience just the opposite. God promised the ancients that by keeping the law of God they would have life.

 

But we are given a much greater example in a righteous man that lived nearly 4,000 years ago. God appeared to him when he was in his home land and told him to leave and go to a land that He would show him (Acts 7.2). The man is Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations, and often called the father of faith because he believed God. Consider the promises made by the Lord to Abram, later called Abraham.

 

The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered.” (Genesis 13.14-16 NASB)

 

And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15.5-6 NASB)

 

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you.” (Genesis 17.4-6 NASB)

 

Abraham believed God, and God promised that he would be exceedingly fruitful. Many nations and kings would come forth through his line. With this promise, the Lord revealed something else that had to do with righteousness and justice.

 

The LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, since Abraham will surely become a great and mighty nation, and in him all the nations of the earth will be blessed? For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” (Genesis 18.17-19 NASB)

 

Notice how the Lord intended to bring about all that He promised. Abraham was chosen to command his children and those after them to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice. This is how the nations will be blessed. This is God’s unchanging law. Righteousness and justice are the way of the Lord.

 

Thus says the LORD, “Preserve justice and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come and My righteousness to be revealed.” (Isaiah 56.1 NASB)

 

When the Lord’s righteousness is revealed, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness through the law of God, the very law that the nations have refused to accept and which many of God’s own people have rejected. Again, to reign over the earth, the King must have some standard by which to rule and judge.

 

The eonian gospel.

 

This leads to a word that is given to us through John in The Unveiling [Revelation] of Jesus Christ. It is the eonian evangel or gospel, which means “good news.” As our present eon comes to a close, and the kingdom begins to descend upon this earth, the judgment of God will be brought to bear on the inhabitants of the earth.

 

John recorded that an angel will fly in the mid-heaven of this earth to proclaim the good news for the eon to come, which sets the stage for the eons of the eons. Most translations refer to it as an eternal gospel, but this is not the proper translation of the Greek word aiōnion. It is the good news of the eonian kingdom of Christ.

 

And I perceived another messenger flying in mid-heaven, having an eonian evangel to bring to those situated on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people, saying with a loud voice, “Be ye afraid of God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judging came; and worship the Maker of heaven and the land and the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14.6-7 CV)

 

Many people view the Revelation from the perspective of all the Hollywood hype of end-time events, but this is not how one should view this proclamation.

 

What is the purpose of the kingdom of God coming to this earth? What is the purpose of God’s judgments of the inhabitants of the earth in bringing in the kingdom? It is so that salvation will come to the nations, and all will come into the joy of the Lord, singing praises for His leading the nations in righteousness and justice. When the nations learn the ways of the Lord, His righteousness, they will sing praises to God, and the earth will yield its produce. Even the earth will praise God.

 

Please hear this: God’s judgment of the nations is a good thing. It is not for the purpose of destruction but of restoration, leading all the nations into righteousness and justice. Then, and only then, will the nations be at peace and know true joy and blessing; only then will they begin to know the love of God in Christ.

 

For when the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26.9 NASB)

 

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us―Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the na­tions on the earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. (Psalm 67.1-7 NASB)

 

Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salva­tion from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, as­cribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory of His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. Worship the LORD in holy attire; tremble before Him, all the earth. Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns; indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all it contains; let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy be­fore the LORD, for He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness. (Psalm 96.1-13 NASB)

 

O sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him. The LORD has made known His salvation; He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout joy­fully to the LORD, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises. Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King, the LORD. Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it. Let the riv­ers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy before the LORD, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity. (Psalm 98.1-9 NASB)

 

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we our­selves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100.1-5 NASB)

 

This is the good news of the kingdom of God.

 

Truly, the acclamation will go forth that the Lord reigns. He is seated upon His throne, and all is well. Even the trees will sing for joy before the Lord. What does this mean? Will they literally sing? Perhaps not, but they most assuredly will be in harmony with their Creator in such a way that it will be a joy for mankind to walk amongst all that the Son has created. Can you imagine what it will be like for the inhabitants of the earth to experience the joy of the Lord every place they travel on earth? All creation will rejoice, and this comes about through the Kingdom of Righteousness, Justice, Peace and Lovingkindness. This is glory!

 

Oh, it is time for those who are called to be ambassadors of Christ who have the word of the conciliation in them (2 Corinthians 5.19 CV) to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom. The message that many are proclaiming in our day is mixed with leaven, the leaven of Pentecostal bread. God is presented as mean and vengeful, who is set on destroying billions of people created to be in His image. There is no such concept found in the Psalms quoted above. God’s judgment will lead the nations to praise God; to thank Him for His uprightness and His guidance of the nations.

 

The nations will be overwhelmed with joy and praise as they behold even the earth praising God through its abundant yield. Today, America cries out for God to bless her; but a day is coming when all the nations will have no need to cry out for blessing, for they will proclaim that, in fact, God is blessing them as they are learning righteousness. This is what judgment is all about. When we learn God’s ways there is nothing but blessing and joy. What a gospel!

 

Dear brethren in Christ, do you have the word of the conciliation written on your heart? Are you a peacemaker? Are you a lover? Are you a forgiver?

 

Psalm 67 is both historical and prophetical, for it points to the transfiguration of the conquerors in Christ who will take the gospel of the kingdom to the nations during the Tabernacles Age. Psalm 67.1 refers to the day Moses appeared in the presence of the Lord and the skin of his face shone (Exodus 34.29-35). He then commanded the people to work six days and rest the seventh day. When Moses was first called into the presence of the Lord, the glory had rested on Mount Sinai for six days; and on the seventh day the Lord called Moses from the midst of the cloud. The glory of the Lord on that seventh day was like a consuming fire.

 

In like fashion, as He was approaching the cross, after six days, presumably on the seventh day, Jesus took three of His closest disciples up on a high mountain and in their presence, along with Moses and Elijah, was transfigured in their sight; His face shone like the sun (Matthew 17.1-8). It was a picture of the Son of Mankind in His glorified body as He comes in His kingdom of glory.

 

This is also a picture of the conquerors of Christ, who will be transfigured into the body of His glory, as our present eon comes to a close and the Tabernacles Age comes to this earth. They are the ones who have beheld the face of Jesus and have been transformed into His image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3.17-18). One day soon, the treasure of glory hidden in their earthen vessels will burst through as it did with Jesus on the mountain on the seventh day; so will the conquerors shine forth on the seventh day, the day of the kingdom of Christ.

 

What am I to do?

 

At this point, I hope that the question on your heart is: What am I to do? People of the world, it is time to bow the knee to God’s King, Jesus, the Son of God. It is time to believe on God’s Son.

 

To conclude, it is needful to share a little of the good news for the sinner. By the way, we are all sinners in need of a Savior. No one of mankind is excluded. It matters not how we view the magnitude of our sinful nature. There is no sin that we have committed that is outside the forgiveness of God. Take heart; God is the Savior of all mankind and He wills that all be saved (1 Timothy 2.4; 4.10).

 

Paul, the apostle of the nations, was used mightily by God, and we in our day receive the benefit of what this dear brother in Christ endured in order to bring us the whole counsel of God (Acts 20.27). Consider Paul’s testimony.

 

For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1 Corinthians 15.9-10 NASB)

 

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He consid­ered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full accep­tance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal [lit. eonian] life. (1 Timothy 1.12-16 NASB [added by writer])

 

Paul was pretty critical of his former life, but he knew the grace of God that operated in his life to save sinners.

 

Justified by His blood, saved by His grace.

 

Now, Paul became equipped to expound on the good news for all sinners. In the following verses, he outlines what a sinner must know.

 

Much rather, then, being now justified in His blood, we shall be saved from indignation, through Him. For if, being enemies, we were concili­ated to God through the death of His Son, much rather, being conciliated, we shall be saved in His life. Yet not only so, but we are glorying also in God, through our Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom we now obtained the conciliation. (Romans 5.9-11 CV)

 

The shed blood of Jesus justifies us sinners. Justify means to make just or to de­clare righteous in the sight of God. A sinner has no righteousness that is acceptable to God, but Jesus paid the price for our sin and satisfied the just demand of God that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5.21).

 

We need to be very clear that justification is not based on any work that we can do to overcome our sins. Another, Jesus, has done the work. We are saved by grace through faith. We are not saved through any works that we do, by our own righteousness, or by any laws of God, or of man (Romans 3.20, 28).

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2.8-9 NASB)

 

The faith that we receive by the grace of God means we believe that…

 

Christ [that is Jesus, the son of God] died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time…. (1 Corinthians 15.3-6 NASB [added by writer])

 

Believe that God’s Son died for your sins, was buried, was raised from the dead and then appeared to many as proof that He lives. He is not dead in a grave. He rose from the grave and then ascended on high. This too was witnessed by many.

 

And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” (Acts 1.9-11 NASB)

 

Note that He is coming back in the same manner, only this time He will come to reign as King over this earth. There is more good news.

 

God has conciliated the world to Himself.

 

In Romans 5.9-11, quoted previously, Paul referred to being conciliated to God, something that he also brought to the attention of the Corinthians.

 

Yet all is of God, Who conciliates us to Himself through Christ, and is giving us the dispensation of the conciliation, how that God was in Christ, conciliating the world to Himself, not reckoning their of­fenses to them, and placing in us the word of the conciliation. (2 Corin­thians 5.18-19 CV)

 

Listening to some preachers one would conclude that God is mad at mankind. But what if you were told that this is not true, but that He is at peace with all? Would this not change your view of God? Well, be of good cheer, for it is true. God is love, and His love reaches out to us to come into peace with Him.

 

Once justified by faith, we need to come into peace with God, to be conciliated. The words conciliate and conciliation are probably foreign to most people. Seldom do we hear them used in common conversation; but they are vital words in under­standing what God has done through His Son. Conciliate means “to win over; soothe the anger of; make friendly; placate” and “to gain by friendly acts.” When two parties are at war with each, they are enemies. If one party makes peace with the other, then there is conciliation. This is what God has done. There was enmity between God and mankind; but God has made peace with mankind at the cross of Calvary.

 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5.8 NASB)

 

In other words, man is no longer God’s enemy because enmity has been removed through His Son dying on the cross. It is as if God Himself waved the white flag of peace. Through Christ, the entire world, which means all mankind, has been conciliated to God, and God is not counting their offenses against them. Do you grasp the greatness of these words? He is not counting your offenses against you!

 

Even in our day, God is reaching out to mankind with a peace offer, as if to say: “Believe in My Son, be saved by grace and then accept the peace that I offer, and come into peace with Me.”

 

For if, being enemies, we were conciliated to God through the death of His Son, much rather, being conciliated, we shall be saved in His life. (Romans 5.10 CV)

 

When we come into peace with God, then we are reconciled to God. The word reconciled means that both parties are in harmony and at peace with one another. Each party has to make peace (conciliate) with the other.

 

And you, being once estranged and enemies in comprehension, by wicked acts, yet now He reconciles by His body of flesh, through His death, to present you holy and flawless and unimpeachable in His sight…. (Colossians 1.21-22 CV)

 

This is truly good news for all. We are saved by grace, not by works, and we are brought into a relationship of peace with God. We are no longer separated from God, and we are no longer enemies of God.

 

Unfortunately, one can believe in Jesus but not be at peace with God. Are you at peace with God? He is a loving Father, and He beckons all to be at peace with Him. Be conciliated to God! Do not delay!

 

Now, what does it mean to be saved? Many people use this word very indiscrimi­nately. We must be saved from something to be delivered into something, but what is the saving and the delivering about? Some will say it is about being saved from hell, supposedly a place of torture for the dead, and being delivered into heaven in death. This is not according to Scripture; it is according to man.

 

Immortality and glorification.

 

First, we need to realize that when Adam sinned death passed through into all mankind, on which all sinned (Romans 5.12 CV). In other words, we all inherited death from Adam; we became mortal and death became our enemy. Mortal means we die a physical death. Death is not life in some other realm. The dead know nothing whatsoever (Ecclesiastes 9.5)!

 

Further, sin reigns in death, so because we are mortal we also sin. According to God’s law, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6.23). We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3.23), and there is no way for us to escape from this death sentence on our own. The indignation or wrath of God refers to God’s death sentence for sin.

 

Second, once we believe and put our trust in Jesus, this death sentence is lifted from us. We are saved from having to pay the wages of sin, for Jesus paid it all.

 

Third, we will still die, for we live in mortal bodies. This cannot be reversed. Jesus alone has immortality (1 Timothy 6.16), which means that He is the only one beyond the power of death at this point in time. However, just as Jesus was resurrected from among the dead and moved beyond death forevermore, so will those who have put their trust in Him. Though they might die a physical death in these bodies of death, they will be resurrected one day and become immortal in glorified bodies like the body of His glory.

 

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. (Philippians 3.20-21 NASB)

 

The good news is that God has willed that we all are to be saved out of death and delivered into immortality to live in glorified bodies. The One who will subject all things to Himself, so that God may be All in all is the same One who will raise all mankind from death, not all at the same time, but each according to their own class. This is the hope of the gospel and the hope of all mankind. It is truly good news. The death sentence for all mankind brought on by the first Adam has been replaced with “the life sentence” for all mankind brought on by the last Adam.

 

For believers in Jesus who have conquered through His love, there is even more good news, for they will join Jesus as He heads up or gathers up all things in the heavens and on the earth in the eons to come (Ephesians 1.10). They not only will have immortal life, but they also will have eonian life, life in the coming eons. They will be the complement of Christ; the One who has been given all authority in heaven and on earth in order to complete or bring about the purpose of the eons, the All in all; all in love and all in God.

 

Dear beloved in Christ and all who are seeking for that deep longing to be satisfied, we need to be conquerors through love, forgiveness and obedience. This will yield an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of Christ.

 

Finally, when our eyes are opened to the good news of justification, reconciliation, immortality and glorification, and this is joined with the good news of the coming of the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love―the Kingdom of Righteousness, Justice, Peace and Lovingkindness―we must realize that we are called to bring the good news of the Kingdom to the nations of the world, so that the Kingdom can come to this earth. We must agree with our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24.14 NASB)