The Kingdom of God -- Postponed for a "WEEK"? Part 2
Series: Eschatology Scripture: Daniel 9:24–27, Daniel 2:34–35
Daniel 9:24-27; 7:13-4; 2:34-35
Well known author, pastor, radio personality, and seminary president, Dr. Chuck Swindoll says that "the vision of the seventy weeks revealed in Daniel 9:24-27 is undoubtedly, "the backbone of Biblical prophecy" concerning Israel, Christ, and the Antichrist."
Dr. John Walvoord, former president of Dallas Theological Seminary, comments that the “interpretation of Daniel 9:24-27 is the “key” to prophecy and, consequently, “one of the most important prophecies of the Bible.” Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, who taught at DTS for many, many years, agrees that Daniel 9 gives us “the indispensable chronological key to all New Testament prophecy.” Thus, the importance of the prophecy of the Seventy Weeks in Dispensational teaching can hardly be exaggerated.
What makes the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 so crucial is its modern day interpretation. The most significant implications of the dispensational, premillennial interpretation is its assertion that the kingdom of God has been postponed and will not be fully operative until Jesus returns to sit on a literal throne in a literal rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, where He will reign with a rod of iron for 1000 years. Kingdom postponement theology has pervasive and massive personal and cultural implications.
The Kingdom Has Been Established (Not Postponed) Definitively in History -- Daniel 9:24-27; 2:44
Genesis 29:27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years." 29:28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29:30 So Jacob ...served Laban for another seven years.
Ezk. 4:6 And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.
The grand theme of Daniel 9:24-27 is not about what will be done at the 2nd Coming of Christ, but about what was to be done at His 1st Coming. It's not about a covenant made by a future Antichrist, but about a new covenant made effectual and operative by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not about the rebuilding of a future Jewish Temple, but about the final destruction of the existing one in 70AD. It is not about Kingdom postponement for 2000 years and then after the WEEK, i.e. 7 years, the Kingdom is established for the Millennial or 1,000 year reign of Christ. It is about all that has been done and continues to progress through the successful accomplishments of the Messiah's Glorious Work at His First Advent or Coming when His kingdom was established.
The Timeline of Christ's WEEK's Work -- Dan. 9:24-27
The Relatively New View -- The Dispensational Premillennialism View
Kingdom of Heaven Postponed -- NOT!!!
Is there a distinction to be made between the KINGDOM OF GOD or the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN? Some Dispensationalists teach the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven are entirely different kingdoms. They believe the Kingdom of Heaven was to be the Old Testament kingdom of David restored, but was postponed to the Millennium after the Jews rejected Christ as their king. However, the two phrases are synonymous as proved by their interchangeable use in parallel passages in the Gospels.
The kingdom of heaven informs us of its origin; the kingdom of God reveals the owner and operator of the kingdom.
The Standard Literal View for Centuries of Church History --
Stoning of Stephen and the Conversion of Paul -- Gospel goes to the Gentiles --
Acts 13:46, "...It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles."
Dispensational Premillennialism is a return to Judaism, a re-establishment of national Israel and the types and shadows of the Old Covenant, which the writer of the book of Hebrews is warning against throughout the whole book of Hebrews.
- From the blood of Christ back to the blood of animals.
- From Christ our High Priest back to the Old Testament priesthood .
- From the substance back to the shadow.
- From the better New Covenant back to the Old Covenant.
- From that which makes alive back to that which kills
- From freedom back to bondage.The Two-fold Character of Christ's Work
The Overthrowing of Evil
"to shut up sin" -- Dan 9:27a -- "to finish the transgression" means in Hebrew to "shut up, hinder, or restrain."
"to seal up sin" -- Dan 9:27b, "and to make an end of sins" --Marginal reading = “to seal up.”
The idea in the passage before us is, that the sins of our nature will, as it were, be sealed up, or closed, or hidden, so that they will not be seen, or will not develop themselves;
c."to cover up sin" -- Dan 9:27c, "to make reconciliation for iniquity,"-- More literally, “and to cover iniquity.” Psalm 32:1, "Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered."
The Setting Up of Righteousness
"causing to come an everlasting righteousness" -- Dan. 9:24d -- "to bring in everlasting righteousness." This is, “the righteousness, or righteous One, of ages;”
"authenticating all God had promised"-- Dan. 9:24e --"to seal up vision and prophecy,"
"anointing the Most Holy." -- Dan 9:24f -- He came to anoint the most holy, that is, himself, the Holy One, who was anointed (that is, appointed to his work and qualified for it) by the Holy Spirit, that oil of gladness which he received without measure, above his fellows.
The Means of Accomplishing His Work --Dan 9:26a, "and after the sixty-two weeks (plus the previous 7) Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;" To be "cut off" in the OT meant to be killed violently.
Notice that this does not say “AT” but “AFTER” the 69 weeks that Messiah will be cut off. What is after 69? 70! This shows that this occurrence had to take place during the 70th week. Scriptures and history agree with that for they show that Jesus was crucified after 31/2 years of ministry. That would have made Him cut off in the midst of the 70th week.
The Two-fold Consequence of Christ's Work
Justification -- Dan. 9:27a --"Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;"
The Fulfillment: “HE” refers back to the dominate noun, “MESSIAH,” not the subordinate noun, prince who is to come, JESUS ANNOUNCED THE NEW COVENANT WHICH IS THE “FIRM COVENANT” MADE WITH THE MANY. “MAKE A FIRM COVENANT”TRANSLATES AS “CONFIRM” OR “CAUSE TO PREVAIL” OR “STRENGTHEN” A COVENANT.
Judgment -- Dan. 9:27b, "But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple --9:26b -- "And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined."
The cessation of the sacrifices -- 9:27c --"But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering."
The abomination that makes desolate --9:27d, "And on the wing (or overspreading) of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate."
And for the overspreading (or wing) of abominations,] i.e., For the abominable outrages committed by the seditious Jews, those zealots, as they called themselves, who filled the temple with dead bodies. Others, from Mat_24:15-16 cf. Luk_20:20-21, think the Romans to be meant, who set up their eagles (their ensigns) in the temple, together with the images, first of Caligula, and then of Titus, their emperors.
The King Has Been Enthroned (Not Awaiting Inauguration) Permanently and Victoriously -- Daniel 7
Dan 7:13-14, "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed."
Somehow we have gotten the impression that Daniel 7:13-14 will not be fulfilled until Christ's Second Coming, but the text clearly states that the fulfillment takes place when the Son of man comes to the Ancient of days, and is brought near before Him. This took place at Christ's Ascension, after His resurrection. It could not possibly refer to Christ's Second Coming, since Christ at that time will depart from the immediate presence of the Ancient of Days, rather than being brought before Him.
These verses predict that the Messiah will come and set up a Kingdom and a dominion that is everlasting, and will never be destroyed. It is very important for us to know just when this event takes place. If Christ set up His everlasting dominion and kingdom at His first advent, then we are in that kingdom now. If He failed to set up the kingdom the first time around, and we are waiting for Him to try again at His Second Coming, then we are not yet in the kingdom.
Psalm 110:1, "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'"
1 Corinthians 15:25-28, "For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."
III. The Kingdom is Being Extended Aggressively, Progressively, and Universally -- Daniel 2:34-35, "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
The Unshakeable Kingdom of Christ is Historical in its Establishment -- Dan. 2:44 --"And in the days of these kings (Roman Empire) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."
The Unshakeable Kingdom of Christ is Supernatural in its Origination --2:44a, "the God of heaven will set up." 45a
The Unshakeable Kingdom of Christ is Eternal in its Duration -- 44b. "shall never be destroyed"
The Unshakeable Kingdom of Christ is Powerful in its Operation -- Dan 2:34, "You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces."
The Unshakeable Kingdom of Christ is Successful in its Outcome -- 2:35, "...And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth."
This verse gives a clear prophetic declaration of an ever-increasing Kingdom of God that begin like a small stone that demolished the Roman Empire and then continually grew into a great mountain that filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:31-45)
Historic census show an “ever-increasing Kingdom” through a continuous growth of the numbers of believers through-out the centuries from the time of Christ - to be expected with the continuous increase of population - BUT it also shows a continuous increase of the PERCENTAGE of that population who are Christians throughout the centuries. At 100 A.D. there was 1/360th of the world wide population that were Christians. By 1,000 A.D. there was 1/220th of the population that were Christians. By 1500 A.D the number rose to 1/69th of the world wide population and by the year 1900, it had risen to 1/27th of the population. (worldwide population had, by that time, reached 1.6 billion) By 1990, within most of our lifetimes, the figure rose to 1/7th of the world wide population who are Christians. It is now estimated that there are 7 billion people on planet earth and that a full 1/3rd of them, or 1 out of every 3 people world-wide, are followers of Jesus!
The Unshakeable Kingdom of Christ is Universal in its Extent -- Dan. 2:35, "filled the whole earth."
The kingdom postponement view has had and continues to have powerful effect because:
What we Expect from Future Life Determines how we Perceive Present Life, which Determines what we Receive and Achieve from Daily Life!
A major issue for our generation is does Jesus reign over the earth or is the devil in charge? Can His kingdom be powerfully present and Him not be sitting on a literally throne in Jerusalem?
If He has already established His kingdom and expects us to be His kingdom ambassadors and kingdom extenders, what are His expectations?
Is He expecting a harvest for His labors that will satisfy the price He paid on the cross? Isaiah 53:10-12 says, "…it pleased the Lord to bruise Him'… 'He shall see the travail of His soul and be satisfied'… and 'He shall divide the spoil with the strong…."
Is He expecting that Psalm 2 reveals what the Father had in mind?-- "I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.” Jesus has asked and sits expecting to get what He asked for! For this reason we are to be:
Expecting with Great Expectations that are the Same as Those of Our Expecting King
Gaze with the eyes of faith upon an enthroned Christ, whose confident and consistent expectation is that of ultimate victory. See our Sovereign Savior sitting in confidence, not standing, wringing His hands in fear and worry that His work will fail to be successful. No fear agitates His mind, no doubt breaks His rest. In His view, nothing hangs in uncertainty or remains in jeopardy. To Him the fulfillment is as sure as though it were already realized.
Our eyes are too often fixed upon the evening news, the morning paper, the latest word from the conference of experts, or the latest from up to minute Prophecy reports, and as a result we suffer from low-level expectations. We expect “just a few more weary days and then I’ll fly away.” But King Jesus looks right on through present conditions and conflict to see an ongoing blood-bought people who are marching from victory unto victory unto victory; He knows there can be but one result, "There shall be a people who are as the sand of the sea in number that gladly own Him as their King. He knows that by gospel advance that, “All Kings shall fall down before Him and all nations serve Him and all His enemies will become His footstool.”
Are your expecting what King Jesus is expecting? Are your expectations of the future filled with fear of what you think is coming upon the world instead of being filled with faith in who has already come into the world and aligning your expectations with us? Do you believe that the prospects of your future are as bright as the promises of God?
Expecting an Increasing Measure of Kingdom Reality and Vitality Now
In Jesus, the Kingdom of God has been definitely established, is being progressively extended, and will be ultimately embraced by all nations!
In the redemptive work of Christ, the kingdom of God is available and accessible and upon entering it by the miracle of the new birth, we have access to Mount Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, all the hosts of elect angels, the company of the redeemed of God – to Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant who are ministering spirits to those heirs of salvation (Hebs 1:14) everything is new. - a new standing - a new approach - a new name - a new sacrifice - a new priest - a new law - there is a new kingdom, a new body, a new covenant. In chapter 10, we are told that He has perfected forever those who come to Him, and the Holy Spirit has brought us into the covenant and then brought the covenant into us – writing in our hearts and minds (Hebrews 10:15-17)!
We declare that the kingdom of God is here!
If we the people of faith, start believing the gospel of the kingdom and proclaiming it with the same expectations that King Jesus has, we will begin to see greater works than He did happen around our world!
Expecting an Impacting Ministry of Kingdom Authority and Visibility Globally
All authority in Heaven and earth has been given Him, and He has extended that kingdom authority, which flows from His throne, unto His own. For this reason, Christianity will overcome all opposition and overtop all competition.
Expecting an ever Increasing Enlistment of Kingdom Volunteers
Matthew 13:33, “Another parable He spoke to them: “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”
Jesus reveals in this parable of the kingdom that “There is a Process at Work in the Kingdom of God that Produces an End Product that is Far in Excess of Natural Expectations.
In this parable yeast represents the positive, powerful, penetrating influence of the kingdom message as expressed through the lives of the redeemed. The power of the kingdom works imperviously -- it's hidden in the flour; it works powerfully – leavening the whole; and it works persistently.
Kingdom personnel operate by faith in an unseen but ever present Commander. The man of faith is not guided by what he sees. He doesn't despair when the odds are against him.
I am moving from being back on my heels to standing on the tiptoes of expectation, not based on what I see with my eyes, but by what I'm seeing by the eyes of faith from the Word of God. I believe that God is about to visit his people once again with power and glory. I see an army marching through the land, deliverance is their song, healing is in their hands, everlasting joy and gladness are in their hearts, and multitudes are joining up -- and in this army I've got a part!"
Charles Spurgeon encouraged a gathering of missionaries with these words: “I myself believe that King Jesus will reign, and the idols be utterly abolished; but I expect the same power which turned the world upside down once will still continue to do it. The Holy Ghost would never suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world.”
As the Father said to the Son, in planning the Covenant of Redemption in Isaiah 49:6, “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant; To raise up the tribes of Jacob, And to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make of You a Light to the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
One of every ten people on the planet is of the Bible-reading, Bible-believing stream of Christianity. The number of believers in what used to be "mission fields" now surpasses the number of believers in the countries from which missionaries were originally sent. In fact, more missionaries are now sent from non-Western churches than from the traditional mission-sending bases in the West.
Expecting an Enforcing Kingdom Victory as a Great Commandment People, Carrying Out the Great Commission Under Our Great Commander!
John Owens, chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, lived in violent and trying times, yet he was an expectant believer and his confidence was rooted in the assured promises of Scripture rather than believing the circumstances around him. Even in a time of death, disease, decline and despair, his confidence in the promise of God stood firm: “Though our persons fall, our cause shall be as truly, certainly, and infallibly victorious, as that Christ sits at the right hand of God. The gospel shall be victorious. This greatly comforts and refreshes me.”
Why don’t we see more kingdom authority demonstrated in our lives and churches in America. The reason is because we have truncated the gospel message from a proclamation to repent and be re-birthed into the triumphant, all-pervasive, God-big, kingdom of Heaven, where we learn how to reign in life as devotion-givers, disciple-makers, and dominion-takers, to a go-to-heaven-when-you-die-in-order-to-miss-hell type message that says the best you can expect losing in history; expect to be the tail and not the head; expect to be like a little band of soldiers of the cross who somehow manage to hold the fort until Captain Jesus comes back and kicks them all into hell! -- but remember, Heaven will make up for it; No wonder no one wants to join up! This is "rabbit-hole", fortress mentality type living, not kingdom living!
Charles Spurgeon "Do not say of any man that he cannot be saved. Do not say of any district that it is too sunken to be redeemed. Believe in Christ crucified, and preach boldly in His name, and you shall see great things and gladsome things. Do not doubt the ultimate triumph of Christianity. The cross must conquer; it must blossom with a crown commensurate with the person of the Crucified, and the bitterness of His agony. His reward shall parallel His sorrows. Trust in God, and lift your banner high, and now with psalms and songs advance to battle, for the Lord of Hosts is with us, the Son of the Highest leads our van. Onward with blast of silver trumpet and shout of those who seize the spoil. Let no man's heart fail him! Christ hath died! Atonement is complete! God is satisfied! Peace is proclaimed! Heaven glitters with proofs of mercy already bestowed upon ten thousand times ten thousand! Hell is trembling, Heaven adoring, earth waiting. Advance, ye saints to certain victory! You shall overcome through the blood of the Lamb!"
Because in the Lord Jesus Christ we have an Intercessor who can never be disqualified; a revelation that can never be destroyed; a Victor who can never be vanquished; a resurrection that can never be hindered; a hope that can never be disappointed; a glory that can never be dimmed; a king who is expecting a world bowing in worship at His feet!
Charles Wesley wrote: “My gracious Master and my King, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad, the honors of Thy name!”