Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):

The Kingdom Gospel Rejected by Most Commentaries

The deep-rooted problem is that the whole future Kingdom of YEHOVAH God has been replaced by the non-biblical idea that at death the faithful go to heaven! In which case the Kingdom of God is pointless. The Christian-Israelite hope is destroyed. There is also no solution forever for the awful problems of present societies.

by HOIM Staff

The Kingdom in Judaism:

"First it will be well to get this clear, that while the concept was original with Jesus the name itself was not. To Jewish ears Kingdom of God had a familiar sound and in Jewish writings it had a prominent place. To take only one instance out of many, that is the great cry that breaks out of the book of Daniel 7:14: 'His dominion is an everlasting dominion and his kingdom that which will not be destroyed.' Now to understand Jesus' position it is important to observe that in the generation immediately before Jesus...this Jewish thought of the kingdom...had suddenly become redoubled in intensity. This was the direct result of the foreign domination and oppression; for with Rome's heel on Israel's throat the only hope was that God would strike in and make his Kingdom come...

"Even the men Jesus chose for his disciples found it hard to break away from the prevailing secularism; and when James and John demanded the best places in the kingdom (Matt. 20:20-21), or when after the resurrection the disciples asked, 'Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?' (Acts 1:6), it showed how deeply rooted the earthly, political unspiritual ideas of the Kingdom were. In short, the Kingdom of God had come to be the slogan of Jewish nationalism...

"The Jews, on the other hand, crucified Jesus because they did want passionately to see an earthly kingdom...Now that was the one thing Jesus was determined not to do. 'My kingdom is not of this world' -- that signed the death warrant of Jewish nationalism...But Christ's rule is God's rule in the heart. It is in the secret places of man's moral life. The kingdom, said Jesus, is moral not nationalistic...Where is the Kingdom of God today? Here is the gospel answer: it is wherever a man or woman has made Christ the Lord of life and accepted the rule of God in the heart. That is where the kingdom is." [1]

This excerpt shows the appalling, tragic muddle into which commentary studies of the faith have fallen. And it has to do with the core of the Christian Gospel.

If you simply take the references in the gospels to the Kingdom you will see that the Kingdom is firstly and primarily a Kingdom which has not yet come! Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple, was still waiting for it! This was after the ministry of Yeshua the Messiah was over (Mark 15:43). The Messiah promised that his Israelite followers would "enter the Kingdom" and "inherit the Kingdom" in the future, at his return! Without this framework understanding in place you will misunderstand the Christian Gospel as announced by the Messiah in Mark 1:14-15. For a solid basis for your understanding, read Daniel 7:14, 18, 22, 27.

Yeshua the Messiah taught us to pray that the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God would come in the future. It will be a time when "God's will will be done on earth, as it is being done in Heaven." That is certainly not the case today. If the Kingdom had come, the nations would be beating their swords into plowshares and the lion and the ox and the lamb would live in peace! Only by denying the plain meaning of words can this conclusion can be avoided.

The deep-rooted problem is that the whole future Kingdom of YEHOVAH God has been replaced by the non-biblical idea that at death the faithful go to heaven! In which case the Kingdom of God is pointless! The Christian-Israelite hope is destroyed. There is also no solution forever for the awful problems of present societies.

Many students of Scripture do not define the Kingdom as the Messiah did, and thus do not understand Yeshua's saving Gospel of the Kingdom. To help clarify this muddled state of affairs, let us cite the plain definition of the Kingdom provided by a learned professor at Oxford. Dr. Allen defines the Kingdom as Matthew saw it. His excellent and objective analysis of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God in Matthew, provided by the Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, ought to serve as a much-needed guide to all our thinking about the Kingdom. The Gospel as the Messiah and Paul preached it is about the Kingdom, and so an inaccurate understanding of the Kingdom leads automatically to an inaccurate Gospel:

"The Kingdom -- the central subject of Christ's doctrine. With this he began his ministry (4:17) and wherever he went he taught it as Good News [Gospel] (4:23). The Kingdom he taught was coming, but not in his lifetime. After His ascension he would come as Son of Man on the clouds of heaven (16:27, 19:28, 24:30; 25:31) and would sit on the throne of His glory...Then the twelve Apostles would sit on twelve thrones judging [governing, administering] the twelve tribes of Israel (19:28). In the meantime he himself must suffer and die and be raised from the dead. How else could he come on the clouds of heaven? And the disciples were to preach the Good News [Gospel] of the coming Kingdom (10:7, 24:14) among all [the] nations [of Israel] making disciples by baptism (28:18). The body of [Israelite] disciples thus gained would naturally form a society bound by common aims. Hence the disciples of the Kingdom would form a new spiritual Israel (21:43; [cp. Gal. 6:16; Phil 3:3])...

"In view of the needs of this new Israel of Christ's disciples, who were to await his coming on the clouds of heaven, it is natural that a large part of the teaching recorded in the Gospel should concern the qualifications required in those [of Israel] who hoped to enter the Kingdom when it came...Thus the parables convey some lesson about the nature of the Kingdom and the period of preparation for it [sowing before harvest]. It should be sufficiently obvious that if we ask what meaning the parables had for the editor of the first Gospel, the answer must be that he chose them because...they taught lessons about the Kingdom of God in the sense in which that phrase is used everywhere in the Gospel, of the Kingdom which was to come, when the Son of Man came upon the clouds of heaven.

"Thus the Parable of the Sower illustrates the varying reception met with by the Good News [Gospel] of the Kingdom as it is preached amongst [the] men [of Israel]. That of the tares also deals not with the Kingdom itself, but with the period of preparation for it. At the end of the age, the Son of Man will come to inaugurate His Kingdom [Rev. 11:15-18]. There is nothing here nor elsewhere in this Gospel to suggest that the scene of the Kingdom is other than the present world renewed, restored and purified." [2]

The last sentence of our quotation makes the excellent point that Matthew (and the New Testament) does not expect Israelite believers to "go to heaven," but that the Messiah will come back to the earth to rule with them on a renewed earth (Revelation 5:9-10; Matthew 5:5, Daniel 7:27, etc). The perceptive reader of the New Testament will note the striking difference between the biblical view of the Kingdom, and thus of the Gospel of salvation, and what in post-biblical times was substituted for it: a departure of the faithful at death to a realm removed from the earth. (Bishop Tom Wright tries to have both systems when he speaks of "Life after life after death." Better to shed the philosophically-based life before resurrection which then correctly means coming not from life, but from death!)

The popular idea that the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is mainly a spiritual state of mind or lifestyle now is false to the New Testament. Luke 19:11ff teaches us to connect the arrival of the Kingdom with the future return of the Messiah (cp. above: "The Kingdom he taught was coming, but not in his lifetime"). So say leading analysts of the Gospel records.

The appalling effects of some scholarship have resulted in stunning contradictions of Yeshua in the name of Yeshua. This from Harold Roberts, MA, PhD:

"Jesus presupposed the Old Testament, and any approach to the understanding of the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of God must take the Old Testament as its starting point [so far, excellent!] The actual term Kingdom of God does not occur in the OT, but the idea of the Kingdom is central to its thought. Cp. Ps. 22:28; 103:19; 1 Chron. 29:11; Dan. 7:27. Its meaning there is the kingship of God -- never a Kingdom in the sense of a territory or an association of human beings."

This last statement is an evident and glaring falsehood! First the Kingdom of the LORD occurs in two major passages in the Hebrew Bible: 1 Chronicles 28:5 and 2 Chronicles 13:8. In 1 Chronicles 28:3-8 David said,

"God said to me, 'You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood.' Yet the LORD God chose me from all the house of my father to be King over Israel forever. For he has chosen Judah to be a leader, and in the house of Judah, my father's house, and among the sons of my father he took pleasure in me to make me king over all Israel. Of all my sons (for the LORD has given me many sons) he has chosen my son Solomon to sit on the throne of the Kingdom of the LORD over all Israel [cp. 2 Chron. 13:8]. He said to me, 'Your son Solomon is the one who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me, and I will be a father to him. I will establish his Kingdom forever, if he resolutely performs my commandments and my ordinances, as is done now.'"

Then comes the final, fatherly exhortation of David to Solomon: "So now in the sight of all Israel, the assembly of the LORD and the hearing of our God, observe and seek after all the commandments of the LORD your God so that you may possess the good land and bequeath it to your sons after you forever." Compare Genesis 28:4, Galatians 3:14, the same blessing as promised to Abraham and Christian Israelites.

Very far from being a non-territorial "kingdom," the Kingdom of the LORD is specifically and deliberately an empire to be ruled over by the family of King David! It would be chaotic nonsense to say that this was merely "kingship" with no territorial meaning.

Do you see, then, how disastrous would be the technique which arrives at the New Testament and vaporizes the simple realistic idea of Kingdom, when the angel promises for the Messiah that he will be "great" and "the LORD God will give him the throne of his Father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob [Israel] forever" (Luke 1:32-33)? To lose the meaning of these phrases based on the Old Testament promises is to gut the Gospel message and deprive it of all sense in its Judahite and biblical context. Daniel 7:14, 18, 22, 27 are quoted by Luke 1:32- 33.

The throne of David is not in heaven, but will be in a restored Jerusalem on earth. The throne of David is no more in heaven than the White House is in China, nor the throne of the Queen of England in Moscow! Bible readers have often been taught a "method" of reading the Bible by which its vitalizing, realistic, informational sense is dissipated in favor of vague abstract ideas such a "kingdom in the heart," a so-called "moral" or "spiritual" kingdom. Truly as both Isaiah and Hosea lamented, "My people [of Israel] are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hosea 4:6; Isaiah 5:13) -- not destroyed for lack of "sincerity," but for lack of knowledge. What seems to be missing in much preaching is that the "righteous servant of God, the Messiah, makes many right by his knowledge" (Isaiah 53:11) -- not only by his death and resurrection!

The most uncomfortable and unsettling statements ever to fall from the lips of the Messiah occur in Matthew 7:15‑29. Having delivered his sermon on the mount, as the final Moses, Yeshua warned against false teachers. The Messiah threatened us with this:

"It is not everyone [of Israel] who says to me 'lord, lord' who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven [=inherit the land/earth, Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37:11; Romans 4:13; Daniel 7:18, 22, 27], but only those who do the will of my Father in Heaven. Multitudes will say to me on that future day, 'lord, lord, did we not preach in your name and cast out demons in your name and do many mighty miracles in your name?' And I will then respond to them: 'Depart from me, you who are working lawlessness. I never recognized you.'"

Their fault was to have been deceived, imagining a false form of Christianity. This can only point to a careless acceptance of traditional faith which will turn out not to be based on truth and the actual words of the Messiah. This should surely put all of us of Israel on the alert, put us in a searching mode, in a prayerful mood, beseeching YEHOVAH God and the Messiah to correct us and help us to avoid the fatal pitfall the Messiah referred to here.

As the New International Critical Commentary on Matthew points out, Yeshua echoes Jeremiah (14:14) in his earlier impassioned denunciation of men who uttered falsehoods in the name of YEHOVAH God. So the Messiah identified the false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23) as the fatal factor and peril in our experience of faith. We simply ought not to disregard these warning words of the Messiah. He obviously knows only too well that the human mind is easily deceived, easily led astray, easily deprived of the necessary analytical approach to what we hear preached in the name of the Messiah. Listen to Jeremiah, too: "Then the LORD said to me, 'The prophets are prophesying falsehoods in My name. I have neither sent them nor commanded them nor spoken to them. They are prophesying to you a false vision, divination, futility and the deception of their own minds'" (Jeremiah 14:14).

[1] James Stewart, The Life and Teaching of Jesus Christ, pp. 55-62.

[2] W. C. Allen, MA, Prof. of OT at Oxford, Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, Vol. 2, p. 145. Jesus and the Kingdom of God, p. 21.


Hope of Israel Ministries -- Courage for the Sake of Truth is Better Than Silence for the Sake of Unity!

Hope of Israel Ministries
P.O. Box 853
Azusa, CA 91702, U.S.A.

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