Sketch of the Kingdom of God (not heaven)

by Sean Finnegan

The Old Testament predicts a glorious future of the people of God. The following is a brief sketch of the Hope painted across the canvas of the Jewish Bible. Notice that going to heaven is not at all in view here.

In the last days, the mountain on which Jerusalem sits will be raised above the other hills (Isaiah 2:2). The population of the city will swell (Isaiah 49:19 and 20) as ransomed men arrive at Zion and are shouting for joy (Isaiah 35:10; 51:11; and 60:4). The city will be greatly extended in size (Isaiah 54:3; Revelation 21:16 and 17), built up by foreigners (Isaiah 60:10), and decorated with many different precious stones (Isaiah 54:11 and 12; Revelation 21:18-21). The glory of Yahweh will be manifested in the city (Isaiah 60:1-3). All nations will stream to it (Isaiah 49:22) in order to be instructed by the word of Yahweh (Isaiah 2:3; 11:9). No longer will the inhabitants fear (Ezekiel 34:28) or be oppressed (Isaiah 54:14-17) but will be joyful continually (Isaiah 65:19). Kings and princesses will bow down to Jerusalem and lick the dust of her feet (Isaiah 49:23; 60:11, 14) in the restored city (Isaiah 52:8). The city will become very wealthy from the nations who come to it (Isaiah 60:5-7, 9, 11, 17; 61:6 and 7). The gates of the city will never close day or night (Isaiah 60:11).
Jerusalem will not be the only city affected by the Kingdom. Judgment will be passed on the nations (Isaiah 2:4) in order to bring justice (Isaiah 42:1). The proud will be abased so that Yahweh alone will be exalted (Isaiah 2:12, 17). All nations will serve Jerusalem or else perish (Isaiah 60:12).

The physical earth will be restored (Acts 3:21) to its pre-fallen glory as an old junked car may be worked on for years and end up as the front-runner in a parade. New heavens and earth will be created (Isaiah 65:17). The desert will embrace rivers so that the chosen people may drink (Isaiah 43:19 and 20). The land will be restored because of the servant of Yahweh (Isaiah 49:8). There will no longer be famine (Ezekiel 34:29). The mountains will be made into a road (Isaiah 49:11). No longer will the sun or moon be necessary for light because Yahweh will be an everlasting light (Isaiah 60:19; Revelation 21:23). The people of God will possess the land forever (Isaiah 60:21).

The weapons of war will be turned into tools of agriculture (Isaiah 2:4), and violence will be abolished (Isaiah 60:18). There will be peace and righteousness in Jerusalem forever (Isaiah 54:10; 60:17). The animals will no longer be carnivorous or violent (Isaiah 11:6-8; 65:25). Even the beasts of the field, jackals and ostriches, will glorify Yahweh (Isaiah 43:20). People will be able to sleep in the woods (Ezekiel 34:25). In fact, nothing will hurt or destroy anymore (Isaiah 11:9). Sorrow will flee away (Isaiah 51:11; 60:20; 61:2 and 3; 65:19), and death will be swallowed up for all time (Isaiah 25:7 and 8). God will wipe the tears away from all faces (Isaiah 25:8). People will no longer hunger, thirst, nor be harmed by the scorching sun (Isaiah 49:10).

The knowledge of Yahweh will be as the waters that cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). His people will know His name (Isaiah 52:6), be taught by Him (Isaiah 54:13), and live righteous lives (Isaiah 60:21). They will be called priests of Yahweh (Isaiah 61:6).

The agent of this new creation, expanded knowledge, and super government will be the Messiah. He was to be a son born of the lineage of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1). He will carry the government on his shoulders (Isaiah 9:6). Yahweh will empower him to accomplish this (Isaiah 9:7; 50:7, 9) by infusing him with His spirit (Isaiah 11:2). This man will cause peace to be over his Kingdom (Isaiah 9:7), be a light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6), and have the very words of Yahweh in his mouth (Deuteronomy 18:18; Isaiah 51:16). He will sit on the throne of David and uphold justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore (Isaiah 9:7). He will open the eyes of the blind and free those imprisoned in dungeons (Isaiah 42:7; 49:9, 25; 61:1). He will always be fair to the disadvantaged and destroy the wicked (Isaiah 11:4; 49:26; 50:9 and 10). One could even say that he wears righteousness and faithfulness as belts around his waist (Isaiah 11:5).

God will prosper him and exalt him greatly (Isaiah 52:13; Philippians 2:9 and 10). Kings will pay homage to him (Psalms 2:10-12) and have nothing to say out of astonishment (Isaiah 52:15). Jesus will rule for a thousand years with the faithful saints (Revelation 20:4) and then he will hand the Kingdom over to his Father (I Corinthians 15:25-28). This brief description is typical of the understanding that the Jews of Jesus’ time would associate with the proclamation, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the good news!” (Mark 1:14 and 15).

The kingdom is not the church. The apostles went about preaching the kingdom of God (Acts 8:12, 19:8, 28:23); it is impossible to substitute ‘church’ for ‘kingdom’ in such passages. It has just been shown what the Kingdom message entailed on the basis of the Old Testament. It is impossible to imagine that Jesus would have allegorized every one of these references in order to change the Kingdom of God from a physical reality to an abstract idea.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Sean,

    Zion will be established before Jesus returns. The Birthing of the 144,ooo of Revelation 14:1 will cause it to be so. The dwelling places of Zion that Jah will establish before Jesus returns are for the protection and instruction of the Bride (so that the church washes its robes in preparation to marry the Lamb) and so that the Gospel of the Kingdom can be preached the tribulation.

    It is the birthing of the man-child in Revelation 12 (a company of men 144,000 strong) who cause the return of Christ by overcoming Satan by the word of their testimony and the power of the blood of Christ, and by not loving their lives unto death (they died to self and allowed Christ to live thru them). These cause Michael to stand up (Daniel 12:1) and fight against the dragon (Rev 12:7), during which he is thrown down from heaven. He then knows his time is short and comes with GREAT WRATH – the tribulation. Those who have heeded the warnings of the prophets from Mount Ephraim (the United States) escape to the dwelling places of Zion where they are protected from his wrath for 1,260 days (Rev 12:6). These are the ones Jesus refers to in Revelation 3:10.

    The 144,ooo go forth from Zion and preach the gospel so that those who foolishly refused to listen and obey can be saved. Those who finally obey refuse the mark of the beast and become martyrs. They should have heeded the warnings to get their physical bodies into Zion before the door was shut. As in the days of Noah, so it will be in this day. The Ark will be shut. After that the foolish virgins are left outside. Those who finally listen and obey make it, but they come the hard way. These are the ones referred to in Revelation 7:9-14. The 144,000 willingly leave the safety of Zion and lay down their natural lives so that these might be saved.

    Jah is working out His plan to overthrow Satan thru the BODY of Christ. Christ must remain in heaven at Jah’s right hand UNTIL his enemies are made his footstool. Satan knows this, which is why he continues to deceive the world (and the church) into thinking that the Kingdom will not be established until AFTER Christ’s return. As long as we believe that, Satan defers and delays his day of reckoning.

    This is all on my blog. See the links to The Overcomers Refuge.

    Peace,

    Steve

    Reply

  2. Steve,

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see a shred of evidence that makes this line of thinking at all relevant to the author, or original audience of Revelation. As if the Bible was written to a white suburban 21st century American consumer. You link someone running to be protected from God’s wrath today with a message in Rev 3:10 – which was written to the church in Philadelphia. Not Pennsylvania, but Asia, two thousand years ago.

    You seem to take some things as symbols, but then others not. For instance, you see the US in Revelation behind a symbol – but 144,000 nor 1260 are symbols. Why are we picking and choosing? There is no rhyme or reason it seems to any of this.

    Reply

  3. John,

    If you’ll follow the link I attach below, and read what the author has to say, and then spend some time on his website, I believe some things I quickly summarized above will become clearer. I didn’t do it justice in the short summary above.

    I’ve spent several months reading and checking out this material, in much prayer, for myself. Each of us will have to make up our own minds on these things. I can tell you that I have had to reverse much wrong thinking, especially on the Word of Faith movement. All of us are in deception. All of us. It’s not just “the other guy”. The coming out of deception is a tremendous blow to our egos. The ego must die on the cross for Christ to truly live in us.

    Peace,

    Steve

    http://www.meguiar.addr.com/about_the_author.htm#BACK%20TO%20HOME%20PAGE

    Reply

  4. Posted by JohnO on January 28, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Steve,

    I read that page you linked to. The author has a good deal right, specifically; repentance, restoration is God’s aim, the Kingdom is on the earth, the church has gotten it wrong for a long time, Satan is the prince of the power of the air. Unfortunately he covers it all in un-useful religious rhetoric. There are two points of disagreement:

    1) We do not build the Kingdom. The scriptures no where say that.

    2) “Jeremiah 50, starts out by saying, “The Word that the Lord spake against BABYLON”. Verse 6 then states, “My people hath been LOST SHEEP: Their SHEPHERDS have caused them to go astray . . . ”

    According to Jah, His people have been LED ASTRAY . . . and . . . the astray place is BABYLON! And, it is the SHEPHERDS that have LED the sheep into this position.”

    God sent Israel to Babylon – not the rulers/shepherds of Israel. They were led astray into idolatry, not a foreign land.

    That page doesn’t make any substantial claim about anything you seemed to comment on. Moreover, it would seem to support Sean’s assessment of a revitalized Jerusalem, and a Kingdom on the Earth.

    Reply

  5. John,

    That web page is an intro into the author’s website, and wasn’t intended to provide much more detail about what I summarized in my earlier comment. It’s just a peek into his frame of mind and how he approaches the scriptures. The key points he makes I would remind you of are that we are ALL deceived, and that we are all predisposed to think that we’re right, and everyone that thinks opposite of what we believe is wrong. This is the carnal mind through the fallen ego which creates its own little Tower of Babel in the form of 10,000 different denominations, each one seeing the others faults, but not its own.

    For proof I offer your reaction. You think he’s right on some things (the things you ALREADY believed) and wrong on others (where he believes opposite to what you think is so).

    Game over, set and match. Go back and re-read his intro again and you’ll see it is so. This is how we all think and this is why we are going to have to leave Babylon and go to Zion BEFORE Christ returns.

    I’ve spent over 2 months on his website and I’m still working thru some of his material but I’ve read enough to see things a bit more clearly now. I’d suggest you take some time, put aside any preconceived notions of what Zion is or isn’t, and read the articles he’s posted.

    One more thing – he’s writing for the 144,000 MEN, who are the firstfruits after Christ. I have no doubt that more women will come than men, but the first to come and “get this” will be men, and they will have the headship in this last move of Jah.

    Steve

    Reply

  6. Posted by JohnO on January 28, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    “The key points he makes I would remind you of are that we are ALL deceived, and that we are all predisposed to think that we’re right, and everyone that thinks opposite of what we believe is wrong.”

    Ironically Steve, he believes this too, which is why he can even write that we are all deceived and he is not. Jesus believe he was right, and the Pharisees were wrong on the matters they disagreed on. So, I don’t see how this distinction helps. I’ve changed, and been changing my mind on many things. The men that are able to change minds and influence others in the study of the Bible are the ones that (1) can take into account the history of what happened and (2) turn that into theological and meaning to a person of faith while (3) not leaving incredible gaping holes in the story. Moreover they agree to the first principle of Biblical hermanuetics that the Bible cannot mean something it did not mean to the original audience(s) and author(s).

    To say that Esau becomes Edom, which means Red, and therefore has some bearing to Communism fails to stand by all four of the principles that I’ve just listed. Keep in mind, these are not my principles, rather the principles of Scriptural study for the last two hundred years. If we want to argue of what the principles should be, and how we should be able to make sense of the Scriptures that is fine too. But I’ve not heard any of that yet.

    Reply

  7. John,

    I don’t believe he ever says that we are all deceived , and he is not. He even says at some points that he may be wrong on some issues, but not on the main themes. We will not agree on everything until we go to Zion. That much is self-evident and he does say that. Look around you, do two people, even in the same assembly, agree on all? No, and the scriptures even state that we will not until we come to Zion.

    I can tell from what you are writing currently as opposed to some of discussion of a year or two ago, that you have indeed changed, and I commend you for that, and for being willing to listen and consider. I have also changed my mind on some things as well. We are all works in progress, indeed, Jah has been very patient with me in many many things, and so I am done with my tendency to condemn anyone who doesn’t see things as I do. Jah is working in us all to will and to do of His good pleasure according to HIS purpose, not ours. The question then might be, “What is His purpose?”

    What I received from Larry’s website was a good wake-up call to start paying more attention to what the scriptures say irrespective of what men say, and to listen to Jah more than men. Period. The reason we’re in the mess we’re in today is we have a tendency to get soul-tied to doctrines opposite the truth and then cling to them to avoid losing face. This is our natural tendency which is why the ego has to go to the cross, but it will fight tooth and nail to preserve its life, rather than lose it to find Christ. Spend some more time on his website and read The Fallen Ego – it’s an eye opener.

    Steve

    Reply

  8. Posted by JohnO on January 28, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    So then, let us stop listening to what Larry has to say and read the Scriptures that Sean has laid out for us above. None of those are his words.

    Reply

  9. Sean’s exegesis is a good one, but the truth is that until 144,000 men grow into the full stature of Christ, and by faith, cause “it is so in heaven” to become “it is so on earth”, Satan will remain in heaven, where he will continue to accuse us, and Christ will remain seated at the right hand of the Father, where he will intercede for us. Satan will not be cast down to earth until Michael stands up, and Michael will not stand up until the 144, 000 come into the fullness of their calling.

    They “overcame” – past tense – by understanding that Christ already overcame Satan at the cross, and that Jah is going to work out His plan to redeem fallen man through the manifested “sons of Jah” – plural. By dying to themselves and taking their fallen egos to the death of the cross, they allow Christ to live and fully manifest in them, which is Jah’s plan.

    Satan knows he’s defeated, but until those things happen, he will postpone the day when he is cast down to the earth, coming with great wrath (the period of the tribulation) because he will then know indisputably that his time is short. It is the casting out of heaven and down to earth that signals him that his day is almost over.

    144,000 “holy terrors” are coming against Satan in the spirit of Elijah, and woe be unto those that fight against them and Jah in that day.

    Peace,

    Steve

    Reply

  10. Well, I think Sean does a great job of giving a simple, biblical overview of some of the key elements of the Kingdom of God as well as highlighting the earth-centric focus of all of these sections. God is not abandoning His original plan and intention to have the earth full of people praising and glorifying Him. This is exciting stuff.

    Certainly there also contains the element of the judgement upon the wicked which is central to the message of the Kingdom as well. I know during my initial introduction to the Biblical message of the Kingdom of God, it was mostly a location that was changing from heaven to earth, then it shifted to the very essence of the hope of the faithful. After that, understanding that the Kingdom was infact the theme of the gospel as well was enlightening and empowering and most recently it has been the judgement side of this coming day which has been impressed upon my heart.

    After all of this(and I’m excited what else the LORD will teach me), I have come to understand that the coming day of the LORD and the reign of the Messiah with his saints is the standard and motivator for the ethics of the people of God now as well. At our Bible Study this Friday, is was exciting to see from the OT Prophets the heart of God for His people now, as well as many factors to help us understand why Jesus did what he did when he was first here.

    If this information is not effecting the way we live, something has gone terribly wrong. If it does not motivate us to love and care for our wives, raise our children to look like Christ and not the world, something has gone terribly wrong.

    May the LORD be glorified by each one of us now, in anticipation of a eternal lifetime of the same and better.

    Reply

  11. One more thing and then I’ll shut up for while. 🙂

    The highest honor accorded a believer is to be accounted among the men of valor known as “overcomers”. This is not talking about salvation. I was “saved” long before my calling to be an overcomer. The overcomers are those who overcome every deception of Satan while living in this world of Babylonian delusion. They are given the right to rule and reign with Christ over the nations because they overcame JEZEBEL.

    Jezebel is the ruling spirit over all religious deception in the churches. Every church currently in extant – yes, even “ours” – is in some way, shape or form being held captive to her deceptions. It is the overcomers who by the overcoming of her deceptions, bring about the tribulation by causing Satan to be thrown down to the earth.

    Satan is quite content for us to learn everything we want to EXCEPT this one truth, for it is the understanding of this truth that will eventually bring an end to his kingdom and his rule over the earth. This is the calling of the overcomers, the manifested sons of Jah, who coming to an understanding of the truth and growing up into the FULL STATURE and authority of Jahshua, make it so, by their faith.

    “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.”

    Revelation 12:11

    For more on this, read the article on my blog dated Monday January 21st, titled “The Restored Kingdom Mandate”.

    Steve

    Reply

  12. One more thing as I receive it from the Lord.

    You can study the Word cover to cover, but unless you REALLY understand the plan of Jah to bring the kingdom to pass through the seed line of Abraham, you will spin your wheels and die in the wilderness of unbelief.

    The majority of Christians today will not receive this message. They are carnal and in the “outer court”, saved but held captive in this Babylonian matrix the serpent has created. Many of them WILL finally hear but not until the last 1260 days.

    The Christians in the Inner Court have come out to a degree, and many of them will hear this message and escape to the “dwelling places in the wilderness” that Jah prepares for His church to flee to as protection during the tribulation.

    Those who are hearing NOW are renting their veil of flesh and pressing into the Holy of Holies where Jah dwells, for He dwells in Zion – not in Babylon. We must come out of Babylon and obey Him if we want to escape the judgments that are about to fall on it.

    You can study Psalm 110:1 for example and teach all you want about Adonai and Adoni and the significance of the different words as they apply to Jah and Jahshua. Satan could care less that you teach that truth as long as you don’t come into an understanding of the significance of the latter part of that verse, particularly the word “UNTIL”.

    You might then begin the trek to study the following verses and understand the plan of Jah to manifest His Kingdom thru his sons before Jahshua can return.

    Luke 20:43
    Acts 2:34
    Acts 3:21
    Hebrews 1:13
    Hebrews 10: 13

    You might come to a different conclusion reading I Corinthians 15: 23-28 until the Lord opens your understanding regarding the timing and how it WILL fit with the above verses.

    Satan knows that he can stay in heaven until Michael stands up, and that the only way Jahshua can return is for the man-child (144,000 men) to overcome him. When he IS overcome and cast down to earth, he comes with great WRATH, for his casting down signifies two things to him –

    1) 144,000 men have been caught over to the throne of Jah into Jahsua’s FULL AUTHORITY.

    2) He has EXACTLY 1260 days left before he is cast into the bottomless pit – no more, no less.

    Steve

    Reply

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