The Kingdoms Explained

The Kingdom of God/Heaven. One aspect of the kingdom of God/Heaven is fulfilled in the spiritual blessings of the New Covenant. The kingdom is a present reality (Matthew 12:28), and yet future in its blessing (1 Corinthians 15:50). It is an inner spiritual redemption blessing (Romans 14:17), which can be experienced only by the way of the new birth (John 3:3), and yet it will have to do with the government of the nations of the world (Revelation 11:15). The kingdom is a real into which men enter now (Matthew 21:31), and yet it is a realm into which they will enter tomorrow (Matthew 8:11). It is at the same time a gift of God which will be bestowed by God in the future (Luke 23:32) and yet which must be received in the present (Mark 10:15; Luke 17:20-25). The kingdom which Jesus preached is both “in you” and is yet “to come” as seen in the Sermon on the Mount, especially the Beatitudes.

There are two aspects of the Kingdom of God: Mediatorial and Universal.

The Universal Kingdom covers everything and is timeless (Psalms 103:19-22; 145:13; 1 Chronicles 29:12; Daniel 2:19-21; Luke 1:33). God rules it through intervention and providence.

The Mediatorial Kingdom is the rule of God through a divinely chosen representative who not only speaks and acts for God but also represents the people before God; and a rule which has special reference to the earth; and having as its mediatorial ruler one who is always a member of the human race. The Mediatorial Kingdom failed because of a lack of spiritual preparation on the part of the people and the imperfection of Mediatorial kings. As the Davidic King, Jesus offered Israel the Mediatorial Kingdom,
which was near or at hand because of Him. This is the kingdom which the OT prophets promised.

The first advent of Christ finds Israel in the same state of affairs as in the OT. As the Fathers killed the prophets, the NT generation killed the Son (cf. Luke 20:9-19). Consequently, even though Jesus brought a foretaste of real Kingdom traits, the realization of its political establishment awaits a future day (Matthew 6:10; 7:21f; 8:11; 13:42-43; 16:27-28; 20:21; 24:14: 25:34; 26:29).

The Reasons for the Pharisees Hatred of Jesus. The Pharisees were the “watch-dogs” of the religion of Israel. They rejected Christ’s words and works because their own perspective of things differed so much from His. Jealousy is a strong under current. They hated Jesus because of:

1.His claim to a unique relationship with God (John 5:15-18; 8:28; Luke 5:17-26). Chapter 5 of John is the most complete discourse of Jesus on His Deity.
His assertion — “My Father” (John 5:17-18)
His claim of equality with the Father (5:19-47)
He exercises the prerogatives of Deity:
in knowledge (5:20)
in power (5:21).
in judgment (5:22-27)
in worship and honor (5:23)

2.His claim to a unique relationship to God was the crowning offense since the Jews were  monotheists.

3.His claim to the right to forgive sins. This seemed to be outright blasphemy, for this was a prerogative of God alone (Mark 2:5-7).

4.His attitude towards the Sabbath. Controversies centered around the healing of the man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-18); the defense of His disciples for eating grain on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5); and the healing the man with the withered hand (Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11).

5.His defense of John’s disciples who were enjoying food while they were fasting (Matthew 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22; Luke 5:33-39).

6.His teaching with authority (Matthew 7:29; Mark 1:22). The Pharisees obviously held this against Him for they challenged His authority more than once (Matthew 21:23; Mark 11:28; Luke 20:2).

7.His activity as an exorcist. The Pharisees did not attempt to deny the reality of the cures that He effected, but attributed them to the prince of demons (Matthew 12:24), with whom they accused Jesus of being in league.

8.He was accused of associating with tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:16; Luke 5:30; 15:1-2; 19:7).

9.His attitude toward the Law. Apparently, there were those who were suggesting that He was out to destroy the Law. He honored the Law and insisted that He was fulling the Law (Matthew 5:17).

10.His charge that He planned to destroy the Temple (Matthew 26:61; Mark 14:58; John 2:20). He held the Temple in high regard (Mark 11:17), but He announced its destruction as part of the coming judgment upon the nation.

11.His conflict over ceremonies and traditions of men, warning His disciples to beware of the yeast (leaven) of the Pharisees as well as the Sadducees (Matthew 15:1-20; 16:11; Mark 7:1-23). Jesus came to bring true rest from God (Matthew 11:28-30), but the teachers of the law and the Pharisees preferred their own legalistic traditions.

12.His pronouncement of woes, calling them hypocrites (Matthew 23:1-36; Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:45-47).

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