The Kingdom Teachings of Jesus, Part I
Exodus 32:28 So the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
Jeremiah 31:31 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:
Hosea 11:1 “When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.
Amos 9:11-12 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this.
Matthew 24:1-2 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
Acts 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said, ...
Acts 2: 1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (KJV)
2 Corinthians 3:14-16 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
Israel's New Birth
"Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again." (John 3: 7)
In this correspondence we begin looking at the Kingdom teachings of Jesus. The apostle Paul tells us that we are “a holy temple of the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21), “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2: 20). Therefore, the person and teachings of Christ (concerning His Kingdom) are the very cornerstones from which the lines are pulled for building the walls of His temple, namely, His church.
Jesus introduces the idea of Israel’s new birth to Nicodemus, in John chapter three. However, the entire Gospel of John is a clarion call for Israel’s rebirth.
The Fourth Gospel is a gospel apart. John alone records the first cleansing of the temple (1:12 ff) which he placed after the marriage at Cana. It seems that Jesus went from His baptism into the wilderness for forty days (Matthew chapters three and four), from there to the wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), and from Canaan to Jerusalem for the first temple cleansing (the second cleansing came at the end of His three and one half year ministry [Matthew 21:12ff]). It was at this early date that Jesus clashed with Israel’s religious establishment. Here, He spoke words that would condemn Him at His trial, exactly three years later. Here, He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19). Regardless of what Jesus meant, it was how His hearers understood Him that counted. In fact, He knew how they would understand Him and He spoke two directionally: To His disciples He spoke of His resurrection, but to the Jews He spoke of a new Israel that He would raise from the dust and ashes of the old temple order.
From the very first, the Jews had Him dead to rights: He was a revolutionary, working to bring down the temple and all that IT stood for (Matthew 24:1-2), and to raise in its place His body—namely, His church. They watched Him choose twelve disciples; not ten, nor fifteen, nor twenty etc., but twelve. Twelve is the biblical number of government. His choice of twelve presaged His purpose: namely, to replace the twelve tribes of Israel, and establish a New Israel with the twelve disciples.
It is exactly to this end and purpose that Jesus tells Nicodemus (John 3:1-10) “ye must be born again” (verse 7). Notice the plural “you” in verse 7 which is given in the King James version as the plural old English “ye”. Jesus was speaking beyond Nicodemus; He was speaking to all Israel as represented in Nicodemus—who was a prince of Israel, a member of the Sanhedrin. When he failed to understand Jesus’ meaning, concerning the new birth, the Lord asked him how this truth had escaped him since he was a “master” (Greek: didaskalos—teacher) of Israel (verse 10). In this question Jesus is referencing all that the prophets had written concerning the Messiah and His kingdom. If Nicodemus had studied the prophets with his heart unveiled (2 Corinthians 3:14-16) he would have known of the required new birth. The prophet Jeremiah had foretold of the new covenant, that resulted in knowing the LORD in a new way, which established His laws in the heart; he told of a relationship which removed—not just covered—sin (Jeremiah 31:31). Amos writes of the “house of David” being rebuilt in such a fashion that it would include the Gentiles (Amos 9:11-12). Many prophets of the Old Testament foretold of Israel becoming a NEW CREATION in the messianic age (see Isaiah chapter 11). “Old things are passed away and behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Today, we speak in terms of A NEW TESTAMENT (Matthew 26:28), A NEW COMMANDMENT (John 13: 34), THE NEW JERUSALEM (Revelation 3:12), etc.. Jesus, when speaking of the consummation of the Kingdom said, “Behold, I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). In Israel’s new birth, that which was physical transforms into that which is spiritual.
The new birth of Israel, foretold by the prophets and commanded by Jesus to Nicodemus, took place in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost A.D. 30 (see The Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4). There are certain kingdom characteristics surrounding this particular feast of the Jews that demands notice.
- First: The fact that the event took place in Jerusalem fulfills prophecy that “in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance” (Joel 2:31).
- Second: The fact that those who believed and received baptism that day included Jews of the dispersion fulfilled both the prophecy of Amos that “the house of David” would be rebuilt (the twelve tribes - Amos 9:11-12), and Jeremiah’s prophecy that the new covenant would be made with both “the house of Israel and the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31-31).
- Third: The “new covenant” made on Mount Zion and established with Israel (feast of weeks - Pentecost) replaced the old covenant from Mount Sinai.
- Fourth: The old covenant brought death (3000, see the book of Exodus 32:28); the new covenant brought life (3000, see The Acts of the Apostles 2:41).
- Fifth: The number of disciples in the upper room, being 120 is significant in that it is a multiple of twelve (the number of government), by ten (the number of redemption), showing that the establishing of the Messianic government would bring redemption to all men, Jew and Gentile alike. Also, according to Talmudic law, 120 citizens are required for establishing any new city (municipality). This is reflected in the modern nation of Israel’s house of government (Knesset) which has 120 seats. Thus the 120 disciples present in the upper room constituted the founding body of the New Jerusalem.
Exodus Motif of the Ministry of Jesus
Furthermore, the exodus motif, so evident in the life and ministry of Jesus, demonstrates Israel’s new birth process. Moses, himself, wrote of “another” prophet likened to himself (see Deuteronomy 18:15, 18 compare to John 1:21, 25, 45; 5:46; 6:14; 7:40; Acts 3:22-26; 7:37). When comparing the work of Christ to that of Moses, the following seven parallels become apparent:
- At the time of Moses’ birth pharaoh murdered the Hebrew baby boys (see the book of Exodus 1:15-16). ～ Likewise, the birth of Jesus provoked King Herod to kill the baby boys of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16).
- Moses found safety in an Egyptian household (Exodus 1:5-10). ～ Likewise, Jesus fled to Egypt to escape King Herod (Matthew 2:13-14).
- Moses led the Exodus from Egypt (Exodus 3:8-10). ～ Likewise, Jesus led the exodus from Judaism (John 12:26; Hebrews 13:13).
- Israel is seen as God’s son being called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1
- ). ～ Likewise Jesus, the Son of God, is called forth from Egypt (Matthew 2:15, 19-21).
- Israel, God’s son, is proven in the wilderness forty years (Deuteronomy 8:2-3); also, Moses fasted for forty days and nights on Mount Sinai (Exodus 34:28). ～ Likewise Jesus, the Son of God, is proven in the wilderness, fasting for forty days and nights; being tempted there as well (Matthew 4:1-11).
- Moses delivered Israel through the waters of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21-31). ～ Likewise Jesus delivered the twelve disciples (representative of the twelve tribes of Israel) from the waters of the Sea of Galilee, when he comes to them walking on the sea (John 6:15-21).
- God fed Israel with manna from heaven in the wilderness (Exodus 16:4, 15-45). ～ Likewise, Jesus feeds the multitude with five barley loaves (John 6:5-14).
1 Corinthians 10:1-6 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
Galatians 6:16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.
Exodus Motif of the New Birth
Moreover, there is an exodus motif in the new birth process of each believer (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-6). Paul outlines his motif in five points. This is befitting, in that the number five is the number of grace.
- Egypt is a type of the world that is opposed to the will and purpose of God. ～ Notice that the believer is to leave the world behind just as the Hebrews were to leave Egypt.
- The Red Sea is a type of water baptism. ～ The believer is baptized unto Jesus in water as the Hebrews were baptized unto Moses in the sea.
- The cloud that rested over them in the wilderness was a type of the Holy Ghost. ～ The believer is baptized in the Holy Ghost as the Hebrews were baptized unto Moses in the cloud.
- The water from the Rock in the wilderness, which refreshed the people of God throughout their wilderness journeyings, was a type of the blood from the side of Jesus. ～ The believer fellowships continually with the blood of Christ throughout his/her journey to heaven.
- The water from the Rock, and the manna from Heaven, where types of the blood and flesh of Jesus. ～ The believer drinks the blood of Christ and eats His flesh in the Lord’s Supper to sustain the spiritual life throughout the Christian’s journey.
Israel was born a physical nation (Israel according to the flesh - 1 Corinthians 10:18) from Mount Sinai; so too, it was reborn a spiritual nation (the Israel of God - Galatians 6:16) from Mount Zion (Jerusalem).
Through such processes of “new birth” Jerusalem, Mount Zion, and Israel morph into a spiritual entity. In this way all the prophetic promises ascribed to Israel, Judah, Mount Zion, and Jerusalem—even references to the “house of God,” find their fulfillment in the Israel which has been born again: namely, the Church.
Read More From the Bishop On Kingdom Theology
- The Nature of the Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God. What is it? What is its make-up and nature. This article ventures into these questions.
- Revelation’s Warnings Of Imminence
We continue our study of Kingdom theology by reviewing Revelation's quadruple warnings of imminent fulfillment. The challenge to futurism is glaring.
- The Kingdom Teachings of Jesus, Part II
In this article several passages from the Gospel of Matthew are reviewed in regard to the Kingdom teachings of Christ. Matthew writes to inform his readers that Jesus established the throne of David.
- "Malachi's Eucharistic Prophecy"
This article continues the narrative concerning the OT prophet's writing about the church age. This paper reviews the prophet Malachi's prophecy of the universal celebration of the Eucharist.
- Christ's Church Is The Tabernacle of David
The prophets of the OT foresaw the Church; Amos spoke of it in terms of the Tabernacle of David being rebuild. James, the Lord's half brother, saw this in the Spirit and proclaimed it to be so.
- “Joel’s Messianic Age, the Church of Jesus Christ”
When the Prophet Joel wrote of the messianic age he had the Church age in view. This article is continuing the narrative of how the prophets foresaw the Lord's church.
- God's New Covenant With Israel
The purpose of the writing is to show the event of Calvary to be the cutting of God's promised New Covenant with Israel, thus demonstrating the Church to actually be the Israel of promise.
- Did the Prophets Write of the Church?
It is argued by dispensationalist that the OT prophets did not see the Church in their prophecies. In this view the OT prophecies only pertain to Jews. This article challenges that position.
- The Nature of the Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God. What is it? What is its make-up and nature. This article ventures into these questions.
Read this book by Bishop Jerry Hayes
After spending over forty years in the dispensational doctrine, and having raise my children in that theological framework, I became a convinced adherent to a "kingdom" theology that recognizes the Church as the Israel of God, and that the first century actually saw the fulfillment of most of Matthew chapter 24. "Letters to My Children on Apostolic Kingdom Theology" is a compilation of twenty four letters written to my children explaining my journey, and showing how we were led astray from the apostolic teaching of Scripture to embrace a view recently come into the Lord's church, of which the apostles knew nothing. These "Letters" provide a systematic approach to Apostolic Eschatological study of Scripture. It is sure to interest all students of Scriptures. ☩ Jerry Hayes