The rapture part 2

 

Tonight we are continuing on in our series on the rapture. In our first lesson I gave a summary of the premillennialist view and looked at 2 of their major proof text they use to prove the rapture theory. I showed from the scriptures that these verses do not to teach the rapture theory.

 

TonightI want to examine what the premillennialist say about Jesus and His Kingdom. Its very interesting that people like Hal Lindsey readily admit that the OT prophecies pointed to Jesus establishing His kingdom in the 1st century. However, the twist is that they believe that this kingdom was to a be a physical one and since the Jews rejected Jesus the establishment of his kingdom was postponed and so instead we got the church which will remain in place until Jesus comes sometime in the near future to finally establish his earthly kingdom where He will reign for a 1000 years.

 

There are many problems with this view that donít even come close to what the Bible says about this matter. This whole concept is based on their being a physical kingdom what will be established later. If I can show that the kingdom was spiritual in nature and that the kingdom was established in the 1st century just at the Prophets said it would be then this render the premillennialist view as being null and void.

 

The first thing I want to establish is that the OT does indeed point to Jesus establishing his kingdom in the first century.

Our first time line comes from Daniel chapter 2. In this chapter King Nebucanzer has a dream about this great image and Dannie lets him know that image represents 4 kingdoms. Its agreed even by premillennialist that this represents the Babylonian Empire, Medo-Persian Empire, Grecian Empire and finally the Roman Empire. Now our key verse is

Daniel 2:44 "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. ††

In this verse is letting us know that during that 4th kingdom which is the Roman Empire is when God would setup his Kingdom. This gives us a time frame of (63 BC Ė 476AD).

So, if the kingdom of God was not setup during this time this means that Daniel was a false prophet. That exactly what,

 

Deuteronomy 18:22"when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken;

 

Now people like Hal Lindsey try to get around this by simple saying that only part of this prophecy was fulfilledand that Jesus will have to fulfill the part about establishing a kingdom in the near future.Friends,no matter which chapter of Daniel you read you will not find one description of some sort of delay of Jesus establishing his kingdom. So, either the Kingdom was setup during the Roman Empire or we need to tear Daniel out of our Bibles because his words cannot be from God if the kingdom is still set to happen in the future. Do see how dangerous their view becomes as undermines the integrity of the OT prophecies and basically leaves a person with the thought that maybe God promises will be fulfilled or maybe not.

 

I want to remind you one more time that Hal Lindsey admits that Dan. 2 was prophesying that Jesus would establish his kingdom in the 1st century but it this prophecy had to postponed because Jesus could not accomplish his goal because of the rebellious Jews putting the prophecy off to a later time. But watch what Jesus says as he prays to God.

 

John 17:4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

 

And then after he is resurrected from the dead He tells His disciples this,

 

Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."

 

Jesus stated very plainly that He had accomplished his goal he had finished the work that the father had for him to do and then we also see that all things that prophets wrote about him had to be fulfilled. Since Hal Lindsey and those like him believe that Daniel was a true prophet and he wrote about Jesus establishing his kingdom in the 1st century then surely they would have to believe that Jesus was telling the truth when he said he accomplished his goal and fulfilled all thing that were written about him. To say that the kingdom was not established in the first century is like calling Jesus a liar plain and simple. I donít know about you but not about to accuse Jesus of lying.

 

Now let move up to the NT time to see what was being said about the kingdom. John the Baptist went around saying,

 

Matthew 3:2 "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" and Jesus taught the same thing.

Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

He prayed for it to come in Matthew 6: 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.

He sent out his disciples to preach the same message in.

Matthew 10:7 "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'

 

Now the words at hand means near are close which means within this context that the kingdom was almost here. Jesus put a time frame on when this kingdom would come.

 

Mark 9:1 And He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power."

 

So, Jesus makes it clear that some of those standing there that day would still be alive when the Kingdom came with power. Now if the kingdom has not yet come either some of those people are still alive today or Jesus was lying. Next when Jesus was just about to ascend to the father notice what is said in,

 

Acts 1:6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.8 "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Here we see that Jesus disciples still didnít understand that the kingdom was going to be spiritual in nature. They were still thinking just like the premillennialist that a physical kingdom was going to be restored to Israel. However Jesus does tell them they will receive power when the Holy spirit comes.

 

Now think about this the kingdom was to come with power.

The power and the Holy Spirit were to come together

Therefore if we can show when the spirit came with power it will also show when the kingdom came with power and answer is found in,

 

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

So the spirit came on the day of Pentecost which means that kingdom came with power on the day of Pentecost. Now in min I will show that the kingdom and that the church are one in the same which means that the church was not some alternate plan for the kingdom. Now to help prove my point about the kingdom being started at the day of Pentecost I want use an OT reference that the Premillennialist try to use to say that one day that Israel will be restored which they believe will be a physical kingdom.

 

Isaiah 2:1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.2 Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD's house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.3 Many people shall come and say, "Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

 

Now here what they do they take this term latter days or last days and they apply this to a time period that will begin as Jesus start to usher in his physical kingdom and of course they think the lasts day have begun in our generation. But now watch what Peter says about the last days in,

 

Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.15 "For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.16 "But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:17 'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

 

Peter makes very clear that they were now in the last days. In fact that particular day marked the fulfillment of Joelís prophecy. So we can see that the term Ďlast daysí refers to the Christian age. By the premillennialist own admission that would have to admit that the kingdom was indeed established on the day of Pentecost unless they are willing to call Peter a liar as well. Additional we can see that Isaiah said the Lords house would have beginning in Jerusalem and where did the event take place in Acts 2? It took place in Jerusalem. This shows without a doubt that the kingdom/church was established at the day of Pentecost and that this kingdom was a spiritual kingdom and not a physical one.

 

To further prove this concept that the kingdom was suppose to be a spiritual one let look at several verses there bear this out.

 

Luke 17: 20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, "The kingdom of God does not come with observation;21 "nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."

 

You see if a physical kingdom was to take place you would see and hear it coming because there would be a great physical battle to bring it about but Jesus is telling us that kingdom of God is not something that you can observe but that is within us. In other words it is spiritual in nature. Now remember the premillennialist say that Jesus could not establish his physical kingdom while on this earth yet look at what,

 

John 6:15 Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.

 

If Jesus had wanted to become a king over a physical army here was his opportunity. The people were ready to make him king but instead he departed because he knew that his kingdom was not going to be a physical one. This is made abundantly clear when Jesus was talking to Pilate in,

John 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."37 Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

 

Friends it easy to see what Jesus is saying here. His kingdom is not of this world and yet he is still called a king. What is he king of if there is not a physical kingdom? He is king of his spiritual kingdom which is the church. This is why Paul says,

 

Ephesians 5:23 Ö Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

 

Now think about this for a second if the premillennialist are correct then Jesus is not a king at this moment and will not become one until his 1000 years sometime in the future. Again, this view makes Jesus a liar because he said he was a king and the Bible calls him Lord of Lords and King of Kings on several occasions. Please remember Jesus himself said that he had finished his work on the earth which means he absolutely no reason to set foot on the earth again. Now I believe this certainly enough to show that Jesus kingdom was spiritual in nature butI want to go a step further so there is now doubt whatsoever.

 

Now I agree with premillennialist that the Bible teaches that Jesus is to sit upon the thrown of David. But the question becomes is talking about the physical thrown or a spiritual one.

 

To help answer this we need to look at prophecy regarding the last man that reigned as king from Davidís thrown.

 

Jeremiah 22:24 " As I live," says the LORD, "though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were the signet on My right hand, yet I would pluck you off;25 "and I will give you into the hand of those who seek your life, and into the hand of those whose face you fear -- the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the hand of the Chaldeans.26 "So I will cast you out, and your mother who bore you, into another country where you were not born; and there you shall die.27 "But to the land to which they desire to return, there they shall not return.28 "Is this man Coniah a despised, broken idol -- A vessel in which is no pleasure? Why are they cast out, he and his descendants, And cast into a land which they do not know?29 O earth, earth, earth, Hear the word of the LORD!30 Thus says the LORD: 'Write this man down as childless, A man who shall not prosper in his days; For none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah.' "

 

This was the end of David physical kingdom and physical thrown what important to notice here is that it said that no one else from that point forward will ever sit on the physical thrown of David and rule and Jesus from the seed of David. So, what this means is that Jesus could not physically sit on Davidís earthly thrown and prosper. Instead Jesus reign on the thrown of David is a heavenly one which is a spiritual one.

 

To go along with please considered the following verse.

 

Zechariah 6:12 "Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD;13 Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both." '

 

This is a prophecy concerning Christ and confirms that Jesus will reign over his thrown as a king and at the same time he will also be a priest. So in his kingdom he has to be able to serve as king and a priest and this tells that his reign as king cannot be on the earth and reason why is found in,

 

Hebrews 8:4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law;

 

Jesus could be a priest on the earth because he was not from tribe of Levi. This means that he cannot have a physical thrown that he rule from on this earth because Zechariah makes it clear that when he rules on his thrown that he will be a king and priest.

 

NextI want to show you that further that the church and kingdom are talking about the same thing and they are not separate things.

 

Matthew 16:18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

 

Here Jesus talks about His church that is one church and that he is giving Peter the keys to that church or expressed here to the kingdom of heaven. These terms go hand and hand and Jesus is telling Peter that he has authority to tell people what they must do in accordance with Godís will with in the church/ kingdom.

 

We have already established that the kingdom came on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 but in that same chapter those who were entering into that kingdom are also said they are being added to the church.

 

Acts 2:47 And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

 

Also we you find in the chapter the way that these people were added to the kingdom/church was by repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of their sins.

 

Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

 

We can also see this concept in two different passages. Note what Jesus to Nicodemus,

 

John 3:5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

 

This simply states that a person must follow the instruction of the Holy Spirit and be baptized in water in order to enter the kingdom.

 

1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body

 

Now we all know that the body is another term for the church and again we see that one must be baptized in order to enter into the church. So therefore the kingdom and the church are entered the same way which shows that they go hand and hand. Also note,

 

Ephesians 1:22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church,23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

 

In other words Jesus his reigning over his church just as he reigning over kingdom. He is sitting at the right hand of God and he is our high priest.

 

Hebrews 8:1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not man.

 

This is no doubt that the kingdom and the church go hand in hand. Think where are the servants of God? They are in the church and since Jesus is the head of the church it makes perfect sense that the church is his spiritual kingdom.

 

Now we have looked at a lot of scripture but I want you to remember that the premillennialist view will completely fall if I can show that the kingdom was established as prophecy said it would be in the first century and I believe I have already accomplished the goal but now its time leave no doubt that kingdom was alive in well in the first century and we look a several more verses.

 

My first point comes from the fact that leading up to the day of Pentecost the kingdom is spoken of as future event but after Pentecost the kingdom is spoken of as present reality.

 

For instance both Philip and Paul spoke to people about the kingdom of God.

 

Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God Ö

Acts 28:23 So when they had appointed him a day, many came to him at his lodging, to whom he explained and solemnly testified of the kingdom of GodÖ

 

Notice they were not talking to them about the coming of the kingdom but about the kingdom. Now this next one is very powerful point.

 

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

 

This word ďconveyedĒ means to move from one point to another and the grammar in this verse show that this happened sometime in the past. Which means that these Christians were presently in the kingdom of God which is death blow to the premillennialist that the kingdom is still in the future.

 

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

††††††††††

Again I must point the grammar out here. Receiving a kingdom in the present active tense which means that the kingdom in place. Also notice what John says,

 

Revelation 1:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ Ö

 

John claims that he currently in the kingdom. Now watch what Jesus tells his disciples in,

 

Luke 22:29 "And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,30 "that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

 

Please not carefully that Jesus is talking about the Lordís Supper here and he places his table within kingdom and if we can see where his disciples are partaken of this table then we can conclude that they were in his kingdom. I think we all know where the disciples partook of the Lordís Supper and that was in the church which also is another reference to show the church and the kingdom go hand and hand. To confirm this note how Paul condemns the church at Corinth for taken of the table of Lord in the wrong manner,

 

1 Corinthians 10:21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons.

 

So without a doubt these Christians were partaking of the Lords table which was in his kingdom but they were doing it wrong and chapter 11 Paul explains the proper way to partake of the Lordís Supper. I want to make one last final point for tonight on the kingdom,

 

1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.27 For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

 

Now this section of scripture is dealing only with Christians but from our first lesson we know that these events will included the non-Christians. So here is the order of events. Christ had to die and be raised up as proof that we to will be raised up when Christ comes again. At this coming marks the end of time and notice Jesus will deliver the kingdom to the father. Jesus will reign over his kingdom serving as mediator until he comes again. Paul makes clear that Jesus is currently reigning over his kingdom and he continue to reign over this kingdom until he defeat the last enemy death at his second coming when all be resurrected. Notice Paul didnít say he was going to come and begin his reign as the Premillennialist teach but that when he comes it will end his reign. Again I must point out there is no room for 10007 years at the end of time and we can clearly see that the kingdom is now present and has been since the 1st century and the fact that those that are in the church are considered to be the saved Eph. 5:23 this means that the kingdom that Jesus is handing over to the father at the end of time is the church.

 

This is certainly more to be said on this matter but I feel very confident that I have shown from scripture that OT prophets were right about Jesus establish his kingdom in the first century and that kingdom is a spiritual one. I have shown that we have been in the last days every since the 1st century. There simply is no evidence that supports the rapture theory and so we can conclude that it a false teaching no matter popular it may be. Again, I hope you will join us next week as continue to compare the rapture theory to the Bible.