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Thy Kingdom Come (revised 30/11/19)

After Christ was resurrected He was asked if He would restore the Kingdom to Israel at that time.  The disciples were not asking when Israel was to be restored, but when the Kingdom was to be restored.  They wanted to know when the Kingdom of God would be restored to Israel.

When they were with Christ they asked Him, “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).

They were not asking when Israel would be returned to its lands and former glory, they were asking when the Kingdom of God that Christ said would be taken from the Pharisees and scribes would be given to those who would produce the results that God required, “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.” (Matthew 21:43). 

Kingdom Taken Away

The nation of Israel had been established to provide a physical representation of the spiritual inheritance God had planned for mankind.  It foreshadowed in physical terms the spiritual Kingdom that mankind would inherit when resurrected to eternal life. 

When Jesus Christ was in Jerusalem before His death He castigated the Pharisees and scribes for not fulfilling their role in regard to the Kingdom.  Rather than promoting the concept of the Kingdom to the world they turned people from it, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:13).

They despised the very sacrifices, ceremonies and rituals that foreshadowed Jesus Christ and the Kingdom.   What they offered to God in the way of sacrifices was not acceptable, “Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wheyrein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 1:7-8).

That is why Christ said that the Kingdom would be taken from them and given to those who would represent it to the world in the way God required.

Preaching the Kingdom

After His resurrection Christ preached to His disciples over a forty day period about things pertaining to the Kingdom in anticipation of this very event, “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  And being assembled together with them, 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; "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." (Acts1:1-5 NKJV).

Naturally His disciples wanted to know when the Kingdom would be restored to those capable of ‘bringing forth the fruits thereof’ (Matthew 21:43).  

In answer to their question Christ said the timing was in the hands of His Father.  He instructed them to wait in Jerusalem to be given the power to fulfil the role of witnesses to the world about the things pertaining to the Kingdom He had been teaching them during those forty days, “And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.  "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.".” (Acts 1:7-8 NKJV).

Kingdom Restored

A few days later on the Day of Pentecost one hundred and twenty people (Acts 1:15) who had remained in Jerusalem were baptised with the Holy Spirit in a very spectacular way, “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.  Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4 NKJV).

Those disciples who received the Spirit on that Day of Pentecost were in effect receiving the Kingdom of God!  They were entrusted with the role of preaching the Kingdom to the world and given the power to do it. 

It was to this small remnant of Israelites who had the faith to believe Christ and obey His instructions to wait in Jerusalem that the Kingdom was restored.  

The Holy Spirit that they received on that day was the earnest, or down payment of the promised inheritance of eternal life in the Kingdom, “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:12-14).

It was their assurance of citizenship, “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:  In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:18-22).

Those who received the Holy Spirit were imbued with the power to preach about the resurrected Christ and His testimony concerning the Kingdom of God.

And when they began to preach the words of Christ to the crowds in Jerusalem the Kingdom of God was being restored to Israel, Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:” (Acts 2:22).

The Kingdom that had been ‘shut up’ by the Pharisees and scribes was being opened to greater numbers whom God was now calling to Christ, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38-39).

Christ had said that the Kingdom would be taken from the Pharisees and scribes and given to those who would produce results. 

On that day alone three thousand were baptised, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41). 

The Kingdom was being restored to those who believed, repented and were baptised with the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ. 

The Holy Spirit can be likened to the spiritual DNA of God.  It is the very spiritual essence, mind, nature and power of God through which their minds were renewed after His own likeness, “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23).

It transformed the recipients from being children of the flesh to become children of God, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14).

As children created in the likeness of God became part of the Israel to which the Kingdom was restored, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:15-16).

Not all Israelites Included

The Kingdom of God was not restored to all of Israel.  Many of them did not believe Christ.  Because they did not believe they remained children of the flesh rather than children of God, “…For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:6-8).

Jesus Christ was part of the Godhead, “For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9). 

Those who rejected His words had rejected the words of His Father, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.  For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.  And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” (John 12:47-50).

Cut off from God

Under the terms of the Sinai Covenant those who did not believe and obey God were to be ‘cut off’ from God because of their sin, “Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him.” (Numbers 15:31). 

The term ‘cut off ‘is used quite often in the Old Testament.  The term translated from the Hebrew word ‘karath’ (Strongs  03772) means destroyed or cut loose.   

They were to be ‘cut off’ from the congregation of Israel for disobedience, “Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses: for whosoever eateth that which is leavened, even that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a stranger, or born in the land.” (Exodus 12:19). 

They were to be ‘cut off’ from the very presence of God, “Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 22:3).

It was the same for those who profaned things hallowed by God, “Therefore every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity, because he hath profaned the hallowed thing of the LORD: and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.” (Leviticus 19:8).

Throughout history of Israel many were ‘cut off’ for despising the law and profaning the hallowed things of God.

Wilderness Generation

Most of the wilderness generation were ‘cut off’ from receiving their inheritance in the land of Israel because of unbelief, “While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.  For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.  But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?  And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:15-19). 

Northern Tribes

Later God warned the nation of Israel that if they resorted to serving other gods and did not keep the commandments they would be ‘cut off’ from the land and from God,  “But if ye shall at all turn from following me, ye or your children, and will not keep my commandments and my statutes which I have set before you, but go and serve other gods, and worship them: Then will I cut off Israel out of the land which I have given them; and this house, which I have hallowed for my name, will I cast out of my sight; and Israel shall be a proverb and a byword among all people:” (I Kings 9:6-7). 

Under Jeroboam the northern tribes of Israel did turn to other gods, “But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:” (I Kings 14:9). 

Consequently they were ‘cut off’ from God and scattered among the heathen, “… and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin.  For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” (II Kings 17:21-23).

Judah

The nation of Judah was no better, “And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks” (Jeremiah 3:8-9).

Their priests were warned what to expect, “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?  Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 1:6-8). 

They brought shame upon God in the eyes of the world, “But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.  But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.” (Malachi 1:12-14). 

The Pharisees and scribes were guilty of all these things and that is why Christ told them that the Kingdom of God would be taken from them. 

Like their fathers before them they were to be ‘cut off’ from the congregation of Israel and from their God.  They were no longer going to be part of the Israel that God recognised.  That is why Paul said, “…For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:6-8).

The unbelieving Jewish Israelites were ‘cut off’ from the Israel that God recognised because of their unbelief in accordance with the conditions of the Sinai Covenant that they were all under at that time. 

They will continue in their unbelief until a future time, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.”  (Romans 11:25). 

Israel of God

Those who believed Christ and received the Holy Spirit to become newly begotten children of God were the Israel that God now recognised, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:15-16).

These Spirit begotten Israelites became known as the Church of God, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28).

The Church of God did not replace Israel.  They were ethnic Israelites that believed Christ and received God’s Spirit.   In God’s sight they were the true remnant of Israel.  They had become the embryo of His spiritual Kingdom - a spiritual extension of Israel.  

It was to this remnant of believing Jews that God fulfilled the promise concerning a better covenant, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:  Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.  And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34).

From that Day of Pentecost Jewish Israelites were added daily, “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47).  And, “Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.” (Acts 4:4)

About five or six years later when Paul began preaching many Gentiles were added to the congregation of the Israel of God that was by that time called the Church of God (Acts 20:28). 

Fullness of Gentiles

Gentiles have continued to be added to the ‘Israel of God’ throughout this current age and more will be added during the Millennium and the Great White Throne Judgment period when all who have ever lived will be given the opportunity to repent and accept Christ as their king and saviour.   That is when the fullness of the Gentiles will come into the Israel of God.

At the same time all the unbelieving Israelites from ages past who have been blinded will be resurrected along with all those Gentiles who have not previously been called “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25).

The Books of the Bible will be opened to their understanding, the blindness removed and they will be given the opportunity to repent and escape the second death that is eternal, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15).

Together they will be restored to their common inheritance which is eternal life in God’s Kingdom, "I will restore their fortunes, both the fortunes of Sodom and her daughters, and the fortunes of Samaria and her daughters, and I will restore your own fortunes in the midst of them, that you may bear your disgrace and be ashamed of all that you have done, becoming a consolation to them.  As for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; and you and your daughters shall return to your former estate.” (Ezekiel 16:53-55 RSV).

This prophecy was not about restoring Israel to its former physical blessings of land and wealth, but to the spiritual inheritance that those things had represented.

Jeremiah said similar things to other nations as well, “Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, says the LORD." Thus far is the judgment on Moab.” (Jeremiah 48:47 RSV).  And, “But afterward I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites, says the LORD." (Jeremiah 49:6 RSV).  Also, "But in the latter days I will restore the fortunes of Elam, says the LORD." (Jeremiah 49:39). 

During the White Throne Judgment they will all be resurrected to physical life and given understanding of the Books of the Bible so they can receive their inheritance of eternal life as children of God in His spiritual Kingdom.  Unbelieving Jews and Gentiles alike will have their minds opened to understanding at the time Paul described as when, ‘the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.’ (Romans 11:25).

Israel may have been ‘cut off’ from God but He has not forgotten them.  Although the Kingdom of God was taken from the Pharisees and scribes at the time of Christ, it was restored to a remnant of Jewish Israelites who believed Christ and were given the ability to preach the Kingdom to the world. 

Church of God as a Spiritual Extension of Israel

God promised Israel that if they obeyed they would become a ‘peculiar treasure’, a ‘holy nation’ and a ‘kingdom of priests’.  He said, “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:5-6).

When Moses repeated the same promise he said they would be high above all nations, “This day the LORD thy God hath commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments: thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.  Thou hast avouched the LORD this day to be thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and to hearken unto his voice:  And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;  And to make thee high above all nations which he hath made, in praise, and in name, and in honour; and that thou mayest be an holy people unto the LORD thy God, as he hath spoken.” (Deuteronomy 26:16-19).

This was a promise of future fulfilment that was specific to Israel and conditional to their obedience.  It is being fulfilled today through a body of people originally made up from Jewish Israelites who believed Christ and were transformed by receiving God’s Spirit to become a spiritual nation recognised as the ‘Israel of God’.  It is to this spiritual nation of Israel that people of all other nations are being added and will continue to be added in the coming ages.  They are known as the Church of God to whom Peter confirmed the promises earlier made to the Israelites through Moses, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (I Peter 2:9). 

He could apply these words to the Church because they were the remnant of the nation to whom the promises were first made.  They are the people to whom the Kingdom was restored and to this day keep the commandments and the testimony of Christ, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:17).

They were the spiritual extension of Israel from which the unbelieving Israelites were ‘cut off’. 

It will be the spiritual extension of Israel, the Church of God, that serves Christ as a kingdom of priests during the Millennium, “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood  and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-6).

It is the saints from all nations who are the children of God and who Christ has been preparing to be a kingdom of priests to rule with Him, “…and they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy art thou to take the scroll and to open its seals, for thou wast slain and by thy blood didst ransom men for God from every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and hast made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on earth." (Revelation 5:9-10).

They are the ‘Israel of God’ who will reign over the earth with Christ in the Millennium, “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4).

After the Millennium the rest of mankind, including the unbelieving Israelites and Jews who have been ‘cut off’ from Israel and their God, will be resurrected back to physical life along with the Gentiles in the Great White throne Judgment to be given their opportunity to repent, “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:5).

Warning to All

It is incredibly sad and tragic that those Israelites and Jews over the centuries who have been ‘cut off’ from God for various reasons have had to suffer such horrendous persecution from the rest of the world.   Unfortunately some who call themselves ‘Christian’ have been involved in persecuting them. 

There is no excuse for any one to behave in that manner.  God has condemned such behaviour, “And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity; And say unto the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou saidst, Aha, against my sanctuary, when it was profaned; and against the land of Israel, when it was desolate; and against the house of Judah, when they went into captivity; For thus saith the Lord GOD; Because thou hast clapped thine hands, and stamped with the feet, and rejoiced in heart with all thy despite against the land of Israel;  Behold, therefore I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and will deliver thee for a spoil to the heathen; and I will cut thee off from the people, and I will cause thee to perish out of the countries: I will destroy thee; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD.”  (Ezekiel 25:3-7). 

He punished the nations that rejoiced at Israel’s demise, for example Moab (Ezekiel 25:8-11), Edom (Ezekiel 25:12-14) and the Philistines (Ezekiel 25:15-17). 

God has not forgotten those who are ‘cut off’ and has said over and over again that if they turn to Him in sincere repentance will be forgiven, “…because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 5:24-25 see also 9:17, 21 and 10:4).

Like the rest of humanity those ‘cut off’ from Israel will be resurrected in the White Throne Judgment and be given the opportunity to repent and accept Christ as their king and saviour. 

God also warns those in the Church not to get high minded toward those whom He has ‘cut off’ because He can graft them back into the Israel of God at any time He chooses, “…because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.  And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.” (Romans 11:20-23).

The attrition of many Israelites is not something we can ignore.  But it is not for us to judge those whom God has ‘cut off’ from His presence and remain in a state of spiritual blindness.

The things that happened to them are recorded for us to read and heed, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (I Corinthians 10:11-12).

Conclusion

God had a purpose in mind when He established the nation of Israel.  It was to provide a physical representation of the spiritual inheritance He had planned for all of mankind.  The nation with its law, rituals and ceremonies foreshadowed in physical form the spiritual future that God has planned for humanity. 

The Church of God was not a replacement for Israel.  It was the spiritual extension of Israel to which the Gentiles have been added and to which all of mankind will be added when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in.  This will include all those who were ‘cut off’ from Israel and Judah over the centuries.  They will be given the opportunity to accept Christ as their King and saviour and become part of the Kingdom of God.

It was the Kingdom of God that Christ said would be taken from the Jewish Israelites before He died and was restored to those who believed and obeyed by preaching the Kingdom to the world.

This is what the disciples were asking Christ about when they said, “…Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).

It was not about returning the physical nation of Israel to its land and wealth.  It was about restoring God’s Kingdom to those willing to believe and preach it to the world.

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Lost Ten Tribes

Is the identity of the lost ten tribes of Israel relevant?  See our article Children of the Promises 

Do you know

the difference between the law and a covenant?  Or the difference between commandments, statutes and judgments?  If not make sure you read see our Bible Study on God's Law   

Have You Considered

Jesus Christ said that no one has seen or heard his Father.  So who spoke to Abraham, Moses, Isaac and Jacob?  To find out make sure you read our article - Who Spoke.

Do you know who the two witnesses will be?   See our article -  The Two Witnesses.

Will you be part of the bride of Christ? - See our article - Bride of Christ.

Points to Ponder

When we take of the wine and bread in rembrance of Christ's sacrifice are we observing Passover, or the Lord's Supper?  Is there a diference between the two?  If so - what is that diference?

Be sure to read our article on 'The Truth About Passover'

As you are preparing to celebrate the Lord's Supper you may also want to read our new article 'Examine Yourself'