Article 14 August 9, 2006 WWJD Kingdom Come | John The Baptist | Acts Of The Apostles

Spring Warrior Church of Christ

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WHAT wOULD JESUS dO?

No. 14

KINGDOM COME

by Bill Blue

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus gave his disciples a model prayer that included the following request, “Thy kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10). Was this request fulfilled? What would Jesus say? THE TIME OF GOD’S KINGDOM WAS FULFILLED IN THE FIRST CENTURY. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!’” (Matt. 3:1-2). “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15). When Jesus said that “the time is fulfilled,” He was saying that the time of the prophecies of God’s kingdom had come. In Daniel 2, Daniel interprets a dream for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. He tells the king about an image the king dreamed about (Dan. 2:3135), and explains that the four parts of the image relate to four kingdoms (Dan. 2:37-40), and that a great stone, which crushes the image relates to a fifth kingdom (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45). Daniel explains that the first kingdom is Babylon (Dan. 2:3738), and that the second kingdom will follow after Babylon. Daniel sees the next kingdom when the Medo-Persian empire defeats Babylon (Dan. 5:30-31). In chapter 8, the second and third kingdoms are identified as the Medo-Persian and Greek empires (Dan. 8:20-21). The identity of the fourth kingdom is not revealed by prophecy, but through history we know that Rome was the next world empire. Daniel said that, “in the days of these kings [the fourth kingdom] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed . . . and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44). Rome was in power when Christ said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15).

Daniel also tells King Nebuchadnezzar that God “has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days” (Dan. 2:28). Isaiah and Micah say “in the latter days the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established” (Isa. 2:2; Micah 4:1). On the Pentecost following Christ’s resurrection, Peter quoted Joel 2:28 and said that he (Peter) was now in the “last days” (Acts 2:16-17). The church began that day (Acts 2:47). THE COMING OF GOD’S KINGDOM WAS WITNESSED WITH POWER. During His ministry, Jesus said that “there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power” (Mark 9:1). Thus, some living in Jesus’ day would live to see the beginning of God’s kingdom. After His resurrection, Jesus instructed His apostles, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Luke continues this narrative in Acts 1:4-8: And being assembled together with them [the apostles], He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now."
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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 ….”
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The apostles received this power and the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-17) at the place and time as foretold by prophets (Dan. 2; Isa. 2; Micah 4). Thus, not only did the kingdom of God come with power as foretold by Jesus (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8), but the beginning of the kingdom was also the beginning of the Lord’s church. “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Like Peter, John also said that the kingdom was present in the First Century when he wrote, “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ … (Rev. 1:9). Daniel, John the Baptist, Jesus, Peter and John all agree on the beginning kingdom of God. CHRIST IS KING. Prior to His crucifixion, Jesus told Pilate three things: (1) That He is a king; (2) That He has a kingdom; and (3) That His kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:33-37). Notice that in His answers to Pilate’s questions, Jesus does not say that He “will be king,” but rather, “You say rightly that I am a king” (John 18:37). Following His resurrection, Jesus said,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18). Only the King can have this authority. CHRIST’S KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD. When speaking to Pilate, Jesus did not deny that He has a kingdom, but said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Christ’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, and Christ has set forth the requirements for citizenship, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God […] unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, 5). “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3). God’s kingdom has come. Are you a citizen of His kingdom? This article is reprinted online at http://www.bibleweb.com.

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