Sunday, May 19, 2024

Covenant Theology Positions on Replacement Theology

Stan Feldsine - www.tojesusbeallglory.com

This list of quotes was complied by my friend Ian A. Hicks, who had posted it on his Facebook Page. It contains quotes from Covenant Theologians that show their position that the church has replaced Israel, and that the church is now the recipient of blessings that belong to Israel. His document is reformatted and reprinted here with his permission.

 

Bruce K. Waltke, Kingdom Promises as Spiritual, Systems of Discontinuity, in Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments, ed. John S. Feinberg (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1988), 274.

...hard fact that national Israel and its law have been permanently replaced by the church and the New Covenant.”

Bruce K. Waltke, Kingdom Promises as Spiritual, Systems of Discontinuity, in Continuity and Discontinuity: Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments, ed. John S. Feinberg (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1988), 275.

The Jewish nation no longer has a place as the special people of God; that place has been taken by the Christian community which fulfills God’s purpose for Israel”.

William E. Cox, Amillennialism Today, (P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1966), 45-46.

We come now to study the biblical relationship between national Israel and the Christian church. The historic Christian teaching holds that national Israel was a type or forerunner of the church, and that the church replaced Israel on the Day of Pentecost. This view holds that God made two sets of promises to national Israel national promises, and spiritual promises. All earthly promises to Israel have been either fulfilled or invalidated because of disobedience. All spiritual promises are being fulfilled through the church, which is made up of Jews and Gentiles alike. The first advent of Christ completed Israel's redemption, and manifested the Israel of God (the church referred to in Galatians 6:16).”

Geerhardus Vos, Reformed Dogmatics, (Lexham Press, Bellingham, WA), 1140.

With the incarnation and Christ's finished work of satisfaction, Israel's national calling has been terminated. That would even have been the case if Israel in its majority had not rejected the Savior. Even then it would not have been more than the first in the line of Christian peoples, a part of spiritual Israel. For according to the repeated witness of the New Testament, "Israelite" is synonymous with "Christian." The circumcision of the heart makes one a true Jew [Rom 2:29].”

William E. Cox, Amillennialism Today, (P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1966), 49.

That the Christian church replaced Israel is obvious when one notes that the Jewish-Gentile Christian church of the New Testament is given the same titles which in the Old Testament were given to national Israel.”

Sam Storms, Kingdom Come, The Amillennial Alternative (Mentor Imprint of Christian Focus Publications, Geanies House, Fearn, Ross-shire, IV20 1TW, Scotland, U.K., 2013), 191.

There are numerous other New Testament texts that affirm the same truth (see below). My point here is simply to clarify why I see the Church as the "one new man," the true Israel of God in and for whom all the promises will be fulfilled. The promises will not be fulfilled exclusively in and for a separate "nation" of ethnic Israelites but in and for all believing ethnic Israelites together with all believing ethnic Gentiles, that is to say, in the Church.”

Herman Bavinck, The Last Things: Hope for This World and the Next, (Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996), 99, 102.

Chiliasm [millennialism] includes the expectation that shortly before the return of Christ a national conversion will occur in Israel, that the Jews will then return to Palestine and from there, under Christ, rule over the nations. . . . Those of the Jews who reject Christ are not really true Jews (Rom. 2:28-29). They are not the “circumcision” but the “mutilation” (Phil. 3:2). They are the irregulars, idle talkers, deceivers, who must be silenced (Tit. 1:10-11). They have killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets as well. They persecute believers, do not please God, and oppose everyone. . . . Real Jews, the true children of Abraham, are those who believe in Christ (Rom. 9:8; Gal. 3:29, etc.). The community of believers has in all respects replaced carnal, national Israel. The Old Testament is fulfilled in the New.”

Gary North, Rapture Fever: Why Dispensationalism is Paralyzed, (Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler Texas, (1993)), XII, XV.

"Similarly, Jesus told us that as members of His eternal Church, we are the heirs of the Old Covenant kingdom that God had given by grace to the Jews. The Church receives the kingdom inheritance of Israel....Obviously, this transfer of ownership from Old Covenant Israel could not skip to some future Jewish society at least 1,960 years after Jesus announced it. He told them that their kingdom would be removed from them and given to someone else, not held in a kind of deep freeze for two millennia. It would be given to a rival nation that would bring forth the fruits of the kingdom. So, we must abandon the fruits of unrighteousness."

Gary DeMar, The Debate Over Christian Reconstruction, (Dominion Press, 1988), 21.

"Unbelieving Israel has been cast out and has been replaced by the international church, those whom Jesus purchased with His own blood "from every tribe and tongue and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9)."

Nathan Pitchfork, Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology, Vol.4 (Psalm 45 Publications, 2010, Lulu Press), 14-15.

"Included in this expected casting off of shadows is the casting off of national Israel as God’s people. When God removed his Shekinah glory from the temple in Jerusalem, he was essentially signifying the taking up of his presence from Israel, so that they were no longer his special people. They were now the same as the Gentiles around them (see Ezekiel 11:23). If the reality of this casting off is not indisputably clear in Ezekiel’s vision, it nevertheless becomes manifestly apparent in Hosea 1. There God very clearly and explicitly declares that Israel will become “lo-ammi” — “not my people”. In this declaration, Israel becomes essentially the same as the Gentiles around them; therefore, immediately afterwards, when God declares that in the future Israel will number as the sand of the sea, he must mean an Israel that is drawn without distinction from a world that is, without distinction, “lo-ammi” with God. So the expected casting off of Old Testament shadows is complete enough to include the casting off of ethnic Israel as God’s people.

Nathan Pitchfork, Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology, Vol.4 (Psalm 45 Publications, 2010, Lulu Press), 15-16.

"Although God cast off physical Israel, he prophesied of a restoration of Israel. What would be the distinction between this eschatological Israel and the archetypical Israel? Israel would no longer be Israel because of birth or external laws on tablets. Instead, they would be Israel because God had written his law on their hearts, and put a new heart of flesh within their midst. (See Jer. 31:31-36; Ezekiel 36:24-28). This new Israel God would call from all the nations, choosing some who had been Gentiles to be Levites and Priests (See Isaiah 66:18-21). In fact, Paul himself clearly explains that the prophesied restoration of Israel spoken of by Hosea was accomplished when God called to himself a people from both ethnic Jews and ethnic Gentiles (Romans 9:24-26).Hence, even in the Old Testament we start to see the necessity of a change from types to spiritual realities in order to do justice to the prophecies involving future Israel.

Pascal Denault, The Distinctiveness of Baptists Covenant Theology (2nd Ed.), 131.

"Since Abraham’s physical posterity existed by virtue of the covenant of circumcision (the old covenant), when the goal of the covenant was accomplished (leading to Christ through the preservation of Abraham’s physical posterity), the covenant made with Abraham's natural descendants came to an end."

Loraine Boettner, The Millennium (Philadelphia: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1957), 89-90.

It may seem harsh to say that ‘God is done with the Jews.’ But the fact of the matter is that He is through with them as a unified national group having anything more to do with the evangelization of the world. That mission has been taken from them and given to the Christian Church (Matt. 21:43).”

Greg Bahnsen, The Theonomic Reformed View in The Law, The Gospel, and the Modern Christian: Five Views, (Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1993), 105.

"In connection with the superseding of the old covenant shadows, the redemption secured by the new covenant also redefines the people of God. The kingdom that was once focused on the nation of Israel has been taken away from the Jews (Matt. 8:11-12; 21:41-43; 23:37-38) and given to an international body, the church of Jesus Christ. The New Testament describes the church as the rebuilding of Israel (Acts 15:15-20), "the commonwealth of Israel" (Eph. 2:12 NASB), "Abraham's seed" (Gal. 3:7, 29), and "the Israel of God" (6:16). What God was doing with the nation of Israel was but a type looking ahead to the international church of Christ. The details of the old order have passed away, giving place to the true kingdom of God established by the Messiah, in which both Jew and Gentile have become "fellow citizens" on an equal footing (Eph. 2:11-20; 3:3-6)."

Gerald R. McDermott, Israel Matters: Why Christians Must Think Differently about the People and the Land, (Brazos Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 2017), Intro, xi.

"I had been convinced that the Church is the New Israel. This meant that after Jesus died and rose again, the covenant that God had made with Israel was transferred to those who believed in Jesus. The vast majority of Jews, who had refused Jesus' claim to be Messiah, were no longer the apple of God's eye. They were no different in God's eyes from any other people who had heard the gospel and had rejected it. The old Israel was no longer the true Israel. The Church of believers in Jesus Christ had now become the New Israel. Or so I thought. This was the Christian interpretation that I had learned from Reformed theologians such as John Calvin and that was now embraced by many Christian churches mainline Protestant, Catholic, and a growing number of evangelical churches. So it was difficult for me to believe that modern Israel was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. The fact that most Jews in Israel were either secular or religious-but-non-messianic seemed to preclude any connection between their land and the biblical prophecies. I thought that might change if one day most Jews in Israel were to accept Jesus. But in the meantime, modern Israel did not seem related to the Bible."


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Messianic Kingdom Timeline

By Stan Feldsine - http://www.tojesusbeallglory.com

Introduction to the Messianic Kingdom

The reign of Messiah for 1000 years according to Rev 20:4 is commonly referred to as the "Messianic Kingdom" by Jews and the "Millennial Kingdom" by Gentiles. The Messianic Kingdom will be a physical theocratic monarchy on earth lasting for 1000 years. At the conclusion of the 1000 years, all of Jesus's enemies will have been defeated, and at that time the kingdom will be turned over to the Father, and the kingdom will transition to the Eternal State.

A great deal of the Old Testament details the Messianic Kingdom. This kingdom is foretold in the Old Testament by Isaiah, and in the New Testament by John. Isaiah says:

Isa 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (7) Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Daniel also received details that revealed this kingdom:

Dan 2:44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

Dan 7:14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Daniel is given the timing of when this kingdom will exist. In Dan 7:23-24 Daniel reveals that the 4th beast is a "forth kingdom", which corresponds to the imperialistic empires which have lasted to our day. This beast will develop into a yet future but quickly approaching one world government that "will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it". From the one world government will arise "10 kings", a 10 nation confederacy, and out from the 10 kings "another king will arise", which is the antiChrist. It is in the time of these kings, at the end of the Tribulation period that "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed."

Dan 7:23-24 "He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. (24) The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.

Rev 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever."

Samuel also foresaw the kingdom rule of David's offspring, Jesus, and spoke of the promise that this kingdom would be established.

2Sa 7:12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom.

John is given the duration of this kingdom. John informs us that this kingdom will be established and rule over the earth for 1000 years, after which the kingdom will be turned over to the Father.

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

1Co 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

Kingdoms in Context

The specific kingdom being referred to in scripture depends upon the context in which the term is used. The Messianic Kingdom is distinguished from Jesus's universal or eternal kingdom which was established "long ago". Jesus's eternal reign over the universe does not conflict with a future physical kingdom with Jesus reigning on earth.

Psa 93:2 Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.

Psa 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

The term "kingdom" is also commonly referred to as Jesus's reign in our hearts. This is the reign of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers who submit to His rule. Like the universal kingdom, the kingdom of God in our hearts does not conflict with a future physical kingdom through which Jesus will govern the earth.

Joh 3:3 Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."

Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

1Co 15:50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Col 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

The "kingdom" can also refer to Yahweh's past theocratic reign over Israel.

1Ch 29:11 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.

Psa 44:1-8 For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil. We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago. (2) With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish. (3) It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them. (4) You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.

Psa 68:24 Your procession, God, has come into view, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.

Isa 41:21 "Present your case," says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King.

Exo 19:5-6 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, (6) you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites."

Jesus understood that He would have His own throne, distinguished from the Father's throne. When He ascended, He rose to be seated at the right hand of His Father's throne, and promised that those who were victorious would sit with Him on His own throne reigning over the earth.

2Sa 7:12-13 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. (13) He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Heb 10:12-13 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, (13) and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

Rev 3:21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Messiah's Rule Will be on Earth From David's Throne

At the time of the second advent, Jesus will establish His own government, on earth. He will reign physically from David's throne in Jerusalem. David's physical throne was at first in Hebron, then Jerusalem. David's throne is not a "spiritual" or "heavenly" throne.

1Ch 11:1-3 All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood. (2) In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the LORD your God said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'" (3) When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the LORD had promised through Samuel.

2Sa 5:3-5 When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, the king made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel. (4) David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. (5) In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years.

Messiah will reign from David's physical throne in Jerusalem. Like David's physical reign as king, Jesus will reign as King over the earth.

2Sa 7:13-16 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (14) I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. (15) But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. (16) Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'"

Luk 1:31-33 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. (32) He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, (33) and he will reign over Jacob's descendants forever; his kingdom will never end."

Eze 43:6-7 While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the temple. (7) He said: "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The people of Israel will never again defile my holy name--neither they nor their kings--by their prostitution and the funeral offerings for their kings at their death.

Zec 8:3 This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

Zec 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Psa 72:8 May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The Offer of the Messianic Kingdom

During the first advent of Jesus, both John the Baptist and Jesus announced the arrival of the Messianic Kingdom. The Jewish people were exhorted to prepare for the arrival of the kingdom by turning from the Oral Law and to the righteous character of the kingdom, especially as defined in the Sermon on the Mount.

Mat 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea (2) and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

Mat 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

During this time the Jews were given the offer of His theocratic reign on earth as Jesus brought the good news of the coming Kingdom.

Mat 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

The people were waiting expectantly for the arrival of the Messianic Kingdom, and were told to pray for the coming of this kingdom.

Mar 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body.

Mat 6:9-10 "This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (10) your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

The Rejection of the King

The Jewish nation of Israel, through their religious and political leaders, rejected the King, and without the King, the Kingdom would not be established. The "last straw" of this rejection came when the Jewish religious leadership, speaking for the nation, committed blasphemy and accused Jesus of working His signs and wonders through the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons.

Mat 12:22-24 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. (23) All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" (24) But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."

As a result of this blasphemic rejection of the Holy Spirit's working through the King, called the "unforgivable sin", severe judgment would come upon the Jewish people. This judgment would be the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in 70AD, and the dispersion of the Jews to the diaspora.

Luk 19:44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

Furthermore, Jesus would not return to establish the Kingdom until the national leaders of Israel led the Jewish people to repent of their sin of rejecting Him and to cry out for His return.

Mat 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

The Believers Continuing Hope for the Kingdom

Yet, the hopeful believers among them still persisted in believing that the time was at hand for Jesus to establish His kingdom. But this was not to be.

Consider that Jesus is telling this parable recorded by Luke in chapter 19 to counter the idea that the kingdom was about to be established. Instead of establishing the kingdom then, Jesus as the "man of noble birth" would go to a distant country (Ascension to heaven) and return at a later time (second advent) as King.

Luk 19:11-12 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. (12) He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.

At the Ascension of Jesus, the disciples still thought that it was possible that the Messianic Kingdom could be established in their time.

Act 1:6-7 Then they gathered around him and asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" (7) He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

Even after Jesus's Ascension Peter held out hope that it was not too late for Israel to repent and for Messiah to come and establish the kingdom, referred to here as "times of refreshing".

Act 3:18-20 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. (19) Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, (20) and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you--even Jesus.

These Jews were responding to Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) passages regarding the Messianic Kingdom that specified that this kingdom would be on earth, not spiritual. What they failed to realize is that because Israel's leaders led the nation to reject the King and His kingdom, the establishment of the kingdom would be set aside until they repented and cried out for His return. Only then would Jesus return to earth in His second advent.

Mat 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

The "postponement" of the kingdom until Jesus's second advent was not a surprise to the Father or Jesus. The Father knew that the King would be rejected by Israel, and it was His plan to bring salvation to the Gentiles through their rejection. There was no Plan B, and "postponement" was only in the eyes of the Jewish people.

Rom 11:11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.

Rom 11:15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Col 1:27 (NIrV) God has chosen to make known to them the glorious riches of that mystery. He has made it known among those who aren't Jews. And here is what it is. Christ is in you. He is your hope of glory.

Eph 3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

The Rule of Satan

For now, between the first and second advent, Satan is exercising his rule on the earth. Jesus, who has all power and authority is exercising His divine will to allow Satan to blind the eyes of unbelievers during his time on earth.

1Jn 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

2Co 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

1Pe 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

During the inter-advent age, while Satan rules over the earth as the "god of this age", Jesus will reign in the hearts of individual believers until His second advent. While unbelievers are blind and cannot understand spiritual things, those who believe can overcome Satan's control and influence by allowing Jesus to reign in their hearts.

Rom 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Heb 2:14-15 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death--that is, the devil-- (15) and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Heb 4:14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin. (16) Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

While Jesus is God and has "great power", He will not take that power until the 7th Trumpet in the Revelation.

Rev 11:17 saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.

The Requirement of Repentance From Israel

When Israel's national leaders finally lead the Jewish people to repent and cry out for His return, only then will the second advent and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom take place. His response to their repentance and cry, the second advent, and the establishment of the kingdom on earth is a promise. Jesus's return will happen when the whole nation of Israel turns from their transgression of rejecting their Messiah and to Him.

Zec 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Subsequent to the national repentance of Israel, their sins will be removed and those of the "house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem" will all come to believe.

Rom 11:25-27 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, (26) and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (27) And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins."

The establishment of the kingdom will be the result of Israel's repentance and cry for His return.

Mat 23:39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

The Character of Messiah's Coming

At the time of Jesus's return as the Messianic King, He will return as a lion having won great victory in the midst of a slaughter. There will be no question of His authority and reign.

Isa 63:1-3 Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of his strength? "It is I, proclaiming victory, mighty to save." (2) Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? (3) "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations no one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. Isa 63:6 I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground."

Rev 19:12-16 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. (13) He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (14) The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. (15) Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. (16) On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Isa 66:15-16 See, the LORD is coming with fire, and his chariots are like a whirlwind; he will bring down his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. (16) For with fire and with his sword the LORD will execute judgment on all people, and many will be those slain by the LORD.

Mar 13:24-26 "But in those days, following that distress, "'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; (25) the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.' (26) "At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

Who Will Populate the Messianic Kingdom

The Messianic Kingdom follows on the heels of the Tribulation period, during which time a great number of people will have survived. In this group of survivors, there will be both believers and unbelievers. Only the believers will be permitted to remain on earth in their mortal bodies and enjoy the blessings of the kingdom.

Those who are unbelievers who have survived the Tribulation period will be removed from the earth as per the Sheep and Goat judgment (Mat 25:31-46), and sent to Sheol. There are a number of corresponding references to this Sheep and Goat judgment, including the Parable of the 10 Virgins (Mat 25:1-10), the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (Mat 13:24-30 and Mat 13:36-43), the Parable of the Net (Mat 13:47-50), the Olivet Discourse (Mat 24:37-41) and part of a discourse in (Mat 7:21-23).

In addition to those who have survived the Tribulation period, there will be two resurrections of believers who have died who also are given admission to the kingdom. These believers who are part of the resurrections will live on earth in glorified bodies.

There is a resurrection of Old Testament saints who died before the church was established.

Dan 12:1-2 "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. (2) Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

And there is a resurrection of New Testament saints who died after the Rapture of the church.

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

The following are some of the passages that detail the judgment of the Sheep and Goats. The result of this judgment is that only believers, both in mortal and in glorified bodies, remain on earth to populate the kingdom.

Mat 25:1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Mat 25:10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

Mat 25:31-34 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. (32) All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. (33) He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. (34) "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. Mat 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

Mat 13:40-42 "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. (41) The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. (42) They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 13:47-50 "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. (48) When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. (49) This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous (50) and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Mat 24:37-41 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (38) For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; (39) and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (40) Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. (41) Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Mat 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' (23) Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

The criteria for this judgment, in addition to a content of faith that includes believing in Jesus as Messiah, having died and been resurrected, will also include judgment based on the treatment of Israel.

Joel 3:1-2 "In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, (2) I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to my inheritance, my people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land.

Those who are unbelievers who had previously died, whether in Old or New Testament times, are not resurrected until after the 1000 years. They will remain in Sheol until Great White Throne judgment.

Rev 20:5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

Rev 20:11-13 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. (12) And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. (13) The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done.

The Reign of Messiah Begins

When Jesus does return in great power and glory and will begin His physical theocratic reign over the earth.

Mat 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.

The "renewal of all things" is the time of the Messianic Kingdom. During this time the 12 disciples of Jesus will sit on thrones ruling over the Jewish people who make up the twelve tribes.

Mat 19:28 Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

During this time, the saints will also rule with Messiah in various positions in the kingdom.

2Ti 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Luk 19:17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

Isa 1:26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City."

Isa 32:1-2 See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. (2) Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

It is only after national Israel repents and cries out for Jesus's return followed by the return of Jesus do the kingdoms over which Satan is "in control" as the "god of this age" become the kingdoms of Jesus. This happens by physical war in the campaign of Armageddon, Jesus defeats these other kingdoms and assumes rule of the earth.

Rev 11:15-17 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever." (16) And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.

At this time, Satan is expelled from the earth. He has no part of the Messianic Kingdom and is no longer able to deceive the nations.

Rev 20:1-3 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. (2) And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; (3) and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

The Character of Earth Under Messiah's Rule

Several of the prophets speak of the character of Jesus's government. There will be no end to peace, and the kingdom will be upheld by justice and righteousness forevermore.

Isa 9:5-6 For to us a child is born, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon His shoulder. His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. (6) Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end—on the throne of David and over His kingdom—to establish it and uphold it through justice and righteousness from now until forevermore. The zeal of Adonai-Tzva’ot will accomplish this.

Isa 16:5 A throne will be established in mercy, and One will sit on it in truth—in the tent of David—One who seeks justice and is ready for righteousness.

Jer 23:5-6 “Behold, days are coming”—it is a declaration of Adonai—“when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and He will reign as king wisely, and execute justice and righteousness in the land. (6) In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell in safely; and this is His Name by which He will be called: Adonai our righteousness.

Passages such as Isa 2:2-4 provide vivid indications of what we should expect. Isaiah is quite explicit. For example, at that time, "in the last days", Jesus's theocratic kingdom will be established as the highest of mountains, and war will no longer be taught nor will it even exist as Jesus through the theocratic government of His Messianic Kingdom will be ruling.

Isa 2:2-4 In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. (3) Many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (4) He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Micah echoes what Isaiah reveals, and adds the following:

Mic 4:4-5 Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken. (5) All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we will walk in the name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.

Zechariah and the Psalmist speak of Jesus's reign on the earth:

Zec 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Psa 67:4-7 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. (5) May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. (6) The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. (7) May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Other passages that speak of the conditions on the earth when Jesus returns are that righteousness and praise will spring up before all nations:

Isa 61:10-11 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (11) For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

The characterization of Jesus's rule as one of peace even extends to the animal kingdom. As it was in Eden, so it will be again.

Isa 11:6-9 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (7) The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. ( 8) The infant will play near the cobra's den, the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest. (9) They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

The saints will rule with Messiah during the kingdom.

2Ti 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Luk 19:17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

Isa 1:26 I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City."

Isa 32:1-2 See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice. (2) Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.

The Conclusion of the Messianic Kingdom

Since His Ascension, Jesus has been at the right hand of the Father.

Act 2:32-33 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. (33) Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear.

Act 7:55-56 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (56) "Look," he said, "I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

Jesus will remain at the Father's throne until the time comes for Him to make His enemies into His footstool. It is during the Messianic Kingdom that Jesus's enemies will come under His feet. At the end of the Messianic Kingdom Jesus will defeat the last enemy, death itself. When death, the last enemy is defeated, the kingdom will be turned over to the Father.

Psa 2:8-9 Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. (9) You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

Heb 10:12-13 But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, (13) and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool.

1Co 15:24-26 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. (25) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

At the second advent, when Jesus returns to earth, His location will change from His Father's throne in heaven to His throne on earth. Jesus's throne is the throne of David.

Rev 3:21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

At the start of the Messianic Kingdom, Satan will be bound in the abyss until the 1000 years of the kingdom are ended.

Rev 20:2-3 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (3) He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

At the end of the kingdom's 1000 years Satan is released from the abyss and permitted one last opportunity to deceive the nations. A rebellion against Jesus's kingdom ensues, which is quickly put down.

Rev 20:7-9 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison (8) and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth--Gog and Magog--and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. (9) They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them.

Following the defeat of Satan he and his hordes are banished to the Lake of Fire.

Rev 20:10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Jesus's reign over the Messianic Kingdom will last until the last enemy, death, is defeated and abolished. Although death was greatly diminished during the Messianic Kingdom it was not yet defeated, as even during the kingdom, some still die.

Isa 65:20 "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

Then the end of the Messianic Kingdom age will come after Jesus has defeated all of His enemies. The last enemy to be defeated is death.

1Co 15:25-26 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. (26) The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Jesus will cast death into the Lake of Fire at the conclusion of the Great White Throne judgment, which occurs following the banishment of Satan.

Rev 20:13-14 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. (14) Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.

Only after death, the last enemy, has been cast into the Lake of Fire, will the end of the Millennial Kingdom arrive. At that point Jesus will have "put everything under His feet". At this point, the kingdom will be handed to the Father, and Jesus will be made subject to Him.

1Co 15:24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

1Co 15:27-28 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. (28) When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

Dan 2:44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

Conclusion

There can be no doubt that Jesus will return in the second advent as a response to Israel's repentance and their cries for His return.

Rev 1:7 "Look, he is coming with the clouds," and "every eye will see him, even those who pierced him"; and all peoples on earth "will mourn because of him." So shall it be! Amen.

Zec 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

At that point, the reign of Satan in the world will cease as his kingdoms become to kingdoms of Messiah Jesus.

Rev 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever."

The reign of Messiah in this world will bring radical change in peace, justice and righteousness even to the point of peace with the animals.

Isa 11:6-9 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. (7) The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. (8) The infant will play near the cobra's den, the young child will put its hand into the viper's nest. (9) They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Prosperity will increase and all people will live in their own homes and have their own property.

Mic 4:4 Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, and no one will make them afraid, for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

Isa 65:21-22 They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. (22) No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the work of their hands.

And thus is the promise of the Messianic Kingdom. The establishment of this kingdom is a wonderful hope that we look forward to.

Dan 2:44 "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever.

Psa 145:13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.