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I showed in my last weblog that the Kingdom is already in existence--and has been at least since the days of Moses. Moses founded the Kingdom under a Passover anointing, and from Moses to Jesus Christ was a Passover Age. That Age began at the first Passover and ended with the Passover when Jesus died on the cross.
The Kingdom was then enhanced by the feast of Pentecost, when the citizens of the Kingdom were given a greater anointing. But Pentecost was a leavened feast (Lev. 23:17) and therefore imperfect. We also saw last time that it was a Kingdom patterned after King Saul, rather than King David, because Saul was crowned on Pentecost in 1 Sam. 12:17. Thus, it was to start out good and then become corrupt and rebellious, even as Saul proved to be.
We are now coming into a Tabernacles Kingdom, patterned after the reign of King David. This is the third stage of Kingdom development in the biblical history of the world and its subjection to the rightful Heir of all things.
Jesus spoke many parables about the Pentecostal Kingdom which, in His day, was about to be manifested. Many of these parables clearly show the imperfect nature of that Kingdom. In Matt. 13:24-30 is the parable of the wheat and the tares. "Wheat" speaks of Pentecost, because the first fruits offering at the feast of Weeks (i.e., Pentecost) was made from wheat (Exodus 34:22). The leavening, or corruption, of Pentecost in this parable is pictured in terms of "tares."
Jesus' next parable (Matt. 13:31, 32) speaks of the Kingdom as a great "tree" in which "the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." The birds are the "wicked ones" in Jesus' explanation of Matt. 13:19). Again, this is the leaven of Pentecost.
In the next parable (Matt. 13:33) Jesus tells us plainly that the Kingdom was like leaven being put into meal. Since barley has no glutin and cannot be affected by leaven, it is plain that the "meal" was wheat. Once again, it is Pentecost.
Finally, in Matt. 13:47-50), the Kingdom is said to be like fishermen casting nets into the sea, bringing to shore all kinds of fish, both good and bad. When the net arrives at the shore, the fish are separated, indicating the "end of the age" when the wicked are separated from the righteous. Once again, the basic concept of an imperfect and corrupt Kingdom is self-evident.
It is also apparent that the Kingdom of God is not simply "in heaven," where such corruption would not exist. Although the Kingdom of God is said to be coming down out of heaven, it is coming TO EARTH, even as Jesus prayed in Matt. 6:10, "Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done IN EARTH, as it is in heaven."
Rev. 21:2 sees the New Jerusalem--the capital city of the Kingdom--coming down to earth from heaven:
"And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her Husband."
It would be absurd to think that the Kingdom would come to earth, while the citizens of the Kingdom went to heaven to live. Overcomers will certainly have access to heaven and to the direct presence of God, but their ministry will be to the rest of creation here on the earth. Rev. 5:10 says,
"And have made us unto our god kings and priests [or a kingdom of priests], and we shall reign on the earth."
Once the Kingdom is manifested under a Tabernacles anointing, we will enter the Golden Age of the Kingdom of God. It is commonly called "the millennium," because it is said to last a thousand years before all the dead are judged at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:6-15). During this Age, Isaiah 2:2, 3 will be fulfilled,
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [kingdom] of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms] and shall be exalted above the hills [lesser, smaller nations]; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach of us His ways, and we will walk in His paths;" for out of Zion [New Zion--Heb. 12:22] shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from [New] Jerusalem.
In this Golden Age of the Kingdom of God, the word given to Daniel and to King Nebuchadnezzar will also be fulfilled. Daniel 2:35 speaks of the great Stone Kingdom hitting the Babylonian image on its feet in the latter days, "and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain [kingdom],and filled the whole earth."
The prophet was foreseeing the fulfillment of God's vow, witnessed by Moses in Num. 14:21, "But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." This is referenced also in Psalm 72:19, Isaiah 6:3 and 11:9, and Hab. 2:14. Notice that God did not need to vow to fill heaven with His glory. It was the earth that was the problem.
The Apostle Paul believed that God was able to fulfill His vows. He wrote in 1 Cor. 15:27, 28,
"For He has put all things under His feet. But when He says, 'all things are put under Him,' it is manifest that He is excepted which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."
God wins in the end. But the development of His Kingdom has been a slow process in three distinct phases that are directly tied to the three main feast days of the Bible. The times of the feast days have been used to train His government to administrate the laws of the Kingdom by the mind of Christ.
Once these overcomers, these sons of God, have been manifested in the earth, the Kingdom will grow until, in time, it fills the whole earth. The nations will soon see the blessings of such righteous laws under such a loving and merciful King. They will say to themselves, "This is what we have desired all along, but did not know how to obtain it." Haggai 2:7 says,
"And I [God] will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts."
The Pentecostal Age will end with the Church ("wheat") being baked in the fire in order to stop the leavening action. In other words, the "tribulation" is designed for the benefit of the Church--not to destroy the non-Christians. The Church will not escape this "fire" in a pre-tribulation "rapture." It is by the mercy of God that the Church is brought through the fire, in order that it may be purified and purged of leaven.
The Church will be "saved yet so as through fire" (1 Cor. 3:15), but it would be better if Christian people were purged of such leaven ahead of time, for then they would be found worthy to escape the fire through divine protection. They would be able to walk through tribulation, even as Daniel's three friends emerged from the fire unharmed (Dan. 3:26).
So the Scripture appeals to us to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33).