The Coming King and His Kingdom - Part 1 | Selected Passages | Dr. David Harrell
Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.
A few minute ago in our Scripture reading we read Revelation chapter 19 verses 11 through 16, a text that speaks of the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. And this morning we are going to back up and think about many great theological themes that will help us lead up to and better understand that particular text.
It is interesting that in 2 Timothy chapter four and verse one the apostle Paul described Christ Jesus as the one who is to judge the living and the dead. He spoke of him as the one who will appear in his kingdom. Appear literally means to blaze forth. And in verse eight he describes Christians as those who loved his appearing, those who loved to see that day when he will blaze forth, when he will shine forth in all of his glory.
To be sure, this is the hope of all those who know and love Christ. We long to see him face to face. We long to see him shine forth in all of his glory as King of kings and Lord of lords. We long to see him rule in perfect righteousness and justice and reign with him upon a renovated earth for 1000 years as he has promised. And, certainly, this is the magnificent theme of Revelation chapter 19 and 20, the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
And I am filled with excitement to think of carefully examining those texts with you. But before we embark upon that expositional journey, I am compelled to go back and to give you an overview of the plan of redemption, especially as it relates to our Messiah King and his kingdom. I want you to better understand the king and the kingdom as it was set forth in the Old Testament so that you can better grasp how all of that relates to the New Testament and what the Lord is ultimately going to do. I want you to be able to fully grasp what Jesus did at his first coming, which, when you fully understand that, it will shed enormous light upon what he has promised to do in his Second Coming, especially as it relates to his earthly kingdom.
Unfortunately, it has been my experience that most saints are both confused and unfortunately at times apathetic about these great theological truths of the king and the kingdom. And, as a result, quite frankly, your worship can be less than it should be and your zeal for evangelism will not be all that it probably should be. And certainly your hope will be diminished. I want none of that for you. So I will move away from my normal verse by verse exposition for a few weeks and, instead, we are going to look at the entire flow of Scripture through a variety of texts as we learn more fully about the king and the kingdom in both his first and Second Comings.
Now, in order to do this I must assume the role of teacher more than preacher. So you must bear with me. This will be a time where I am going to move rather quickly. I will give you lots of concepts with a few samples of verses to basically emphasize these truths. But I have got to move on so that you don’t get lost in the minutia, so that you maintain the big picture. And bear with me because we know that knowledge of the Word of God deepens our worship and it causes us to grow in the grace and the knowledge of Christ.
So to better understand the King’s Second Coming, let us begin by understanding more fully the concept of the kingdom of God in the Old Testament. That is where we will this morning.
First of all, you must understand that the Scriptures speak of a universal kingdom. From all eternity there has existed a universal kingdom or a dominion of God whereby he rules over all of his creation. Psalm 10 verse 16 says, “The LORD is King forever and ever.”1 Psalm 103:19, “The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all.”2 In 1 Chronicles 29 verses 11 and 12, “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all.”3
And, indeed, Jehovah God is the eternal king over every thing in time and space. He is the king over heaven and hell. In fact, Jeremiah 10:7 tells us that he is the king of the nations. And Daniel tells us in chapter two verse 19 that he is the God of heaven and he is even the one who removes kings and establishes them. In Psalm 148 verse eight we read he is Lord. And it goes on to say over:
Sea monsters and all deeps; Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; Mountains and all hills; Fruit trees and all cedars; Beasts and all cattle; Creeping things and winged fowl; Kings of the earth and all peoples.4
He is king over everything. And, of course in the New Testament the Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 1:17, that, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”5
So whether man acknowledges God or not, he is king over a universal kingdom.
But, secondly, as we look at the Old Testament we see the Word of God speaking of a mediatorial kingdom where God rules through chosen human representatives who would speak on his behalf and who would represent the people of God before him. This began, of course, in the garden with the first created man, Adam. In Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”6
And throughout all Old Testament history we witness the divine government upon the earth through a variety of mediators, men who served in three functions, as prophet, priest and king. You will recall Melchizedek who was both priest and ruler, Moses who was a prophet as well as a ruler. And, ultimately, only the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, will be able to function in the capacity of all three as prophet, priest and king when he comes to rule in the final phase of the mediatorial kingdom upon the earth.
And this became part of the promise that God gave to whom God called out to be his mediator. You will recall that God gave to Abraham an unconditional, unilateral, irreversible covenant in Genesis chapter 12 and 15 and even in chapter 17, an everlasting covenant that contained four primary elements, a seed referring to the coming Messiah Christ, a land, a nation and divine blessing for his posterity. Indeed, in Genesis 17:6 he promised that kings shall come out of thee.
And then later we read about Moses who became the first mediatorial in the theocratic kingdom of history. He was authorized to stand before Israel according to Exodus 4:16 “instead of God.” In fact, Moses is represented in Scripture as a type of Christ, Christ who alone will eventually be the perfect embodiment of God’s mediatorial ruler in the Messianic kingdom.
But understand that his historical kingdom was broadened at Mount Sinai to include a people, the people of Israel. In Exodus 19:6 we read, “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”7 Beloved, there we see a divine commissioning of Israel to mediate blessing to the whole world, a witness nation, a people that were to be the custodians of divine truth. In Psalm 114 verses one and two the psalmist reflects back upon that period of responsibility saying:
When Israel went forth from Egypt, The house of Jacob from a people of strange language, Judah became His sanctuary, Israel, His dominion.8
During that time God inspired Moses to frame a civil government to exist upon the earth that would illustrate the kingdom of God. And the theocracy of Israel became the greatest model of government in the history of the world. Through the Mosaic code and his mediatorial ruler, Moses, God guided them religiously, morally, socially, politically. And on the basis of their faithfulness to Messiah, to Jehovah God, they were blessed. Their supremacy over all of the nations of the earth was without equal. In fact, if you study the constitution of the United States you will find many of those principles.
Of that particular time in history we read about other mediatorial rulers who were set into place. You will remember the leader judges of Israel from Joshua all the way to Samuel, men chosen directly by God and invested with regal functions and empowered by the Holy Spirit. And then later we read how God established a monarchial form of government whereby he mediated the rule of his kingdom through various kings. Some were godly kings. Most of them were not.
And because of the chronic rebellion of Israel, because of their sin, we read repeatedly in the Old Testament record how they cycled back and forth from tragedy to triumph, from judgment to repentance, to sin once again, to judgment, to captivity and on and on it goes.
You see, like all of the people of the world, the covenant people of Israel had a problem, that of sin. And their leaders had a problem as well. They were sinners. So in order for the kingdom of God to truly bring him glory, God had to do something to remedy sin, to defeat Satan, to defeat death. Of course, all of this was put into motion before time even began the Word of God tells us. And this remedy was the promised Messiah, one who would be both Savior and King, one who would be both Lamb as well as Lion.
In fact, God made another promise to one of his mediatorial rulers, that to David, King David. You will recall in 2 Samuel seven that God made a covenant with David that was a reaffirmation of the regal terms of the original Abrahamic covenant. But also with the addition that the ultimate provision of those covenantal rights that he had given to Abraham would be permanently attached to an historic dynasty, that of King David. And although its ultimate fruition and fulfillment would be interrupted for a season, it would eventually be fulfilled in a future kingdom, in a restored Israel when, once again, the covenantal nation would be all that it was intended to be.
And that covenant to David also contained four elements: first, that his name would be great; second, that God would provide for Israel a place, a home of their own; thirdly, that Israel would be given undisturbed rest from all of her enemies and, finally, that a royal dynasty and a kingdom would be given to David forever. Today we see the embryonic beginnings of this in the miraculous reality of the state of Israel, Israel emerging out of the ash heap of the Holocaust, not only to survive, but to flourish as a nation and become one of the great powers of the world today, as tiny as they are despite overwhelming world opposition.
And consistent with the Davidic covenant repeatedly the Old Testament prophets speak of this future earthly kingdom ruled by a Messiah king. And, beloved, when I read these things and as we meditate upon these truths we see that despite Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness, the Lord remains true to his promises.
Alvin J McClain in his great work The Greatness of the Kingdom says this, quote, “Through all the bitter prophecies of judgment uttered against Israel, there is never the slightest intimation that God’s covenant with Israel can be broken or ultimately fail. Men may fail, but Jehovah never fails in his purposes.” Then he quotes Malachi 3:6, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”9
Furthermore, the covenant of the kingdom is described by the prophet Jeremiah when he writes about the Davidic kingdom during the time of the millennial reign in Jeremiah 33 beginning in verse 17.
For thus says the LORD, ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to prepare sacrifices continually.’10
Then beginning in verse 20 he says:
Thus says the LORD, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the descendants of David My servant and the Levites who minister to Me.11
So throughout the Old Testament the prophets promise a future and better kingdom.
While the repeated failures of man to learn from history how important it is to glorify God, while that completely defies all logic, so too, does the grace of God cause us to wonder in sheer amazement at his undeserved mercy. Again McClain says, and I quote, “It is the shame of man to bring darkness upon the world by reason of his oft recurring failure. It is the glory of God to bring light in the midst of the gross darkness. Beyond the night of man’s sin there is always the glorious day of God’s unfailing grace. To the anxious question of the longing souls in Israel, ‘Watchmen, what of the night?’ The answer of the prophet comes back in comforting assurance, ‘The morning cometh,’ Isaiah 20:11-12.” He goes on to say, “This note of divine encouragement is never wholly absent from Old Testament prophecy, regardless of its severity. First the darkness, but afterward there will be light.” And then he quotes Zechariah 14 verse seven and nine.
It shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light... And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.12
Well, eventually because of Israel’s sin God transferred world power to the Gentile nations as recorded in Daniel chapter two and other passages. Ultimately the presence of God left them and the prophet Ezekiel records that tragic departure as the presence of God left Israel. The withdrawal of the glory of Jehovah from the holy of holies, from the sanctuary was one that was slow. And as you read it you see how that the glory of God pauses in certain places demonstrating almost a sense of divine reluctance, giving the strong impression of a sorrowful departure, one that manifests God wanting to pause and just yearn over the opportunity to pour out his divine grace upon a humble people if they would only repent.
At first the prophet sees the glory of Jehovah in its rightful place in the temple in Ezekiel 8:4. And then it goes up and it hovers over the threshold of the house, chapter nine verse three. And then it illuminates the inner court with the ineffable brightness of the shekinah glory of God in chapter10 and verse four. And then finally we read they cherubim lift up their wings and the prophet records the tragic end in chapter 11 verse 23.
“The glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city and stood over the mountain which is east of the city.”13 I might add that according to Ezekiel chapter 43 and Zachariah 14 this will be the same sequence that the Lord will use when he comes again in all of his glory.
The departure of the divine presence is summarized in Hosea’s warning in Hosea five verse 15. “I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.”14 This hope is amplified even further in chapter three and verse five where we read, “Afterward the sons of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king; and they will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days,”15 speaking of the millennium.
Samuel J Andrews speaks poignantly regarding the significance of the departure of the visible glory of God. Here is what he said, quote, “This departure of Jehovah from his temple and land marked a change in his theocratic relation to his people, a change that continues even to this day. They did not cease to be his covenant people, Leviticus 26:44. His promise in them was still unfulfilled. His promises respecting the Messiah and his kingdom were not withdrawn and he continued to accept their worship. But he himself was no more reigning at Jerusalem. The visible glory no more dwelt between the cherubim. The ark was not in the most holy place. The holy fire no longer burned upon the brazen alter. There was no response by urim and thummim. The people might return as they did from Babylon, the temple be rebuilt, the worship again set up. Yet there was a change. They came back from their first exile in dispersion, but no more to be an independent nation. To their original standing as the theocratic people under his immediate rule, they were not restored.” He goes on to say, “This cannot be till the Lord their God again dwells among them and rules them through his King of the house of David in truth and righteousness.”
Oh, dear Christian, what a picture of God’s faithfulness and grace, his promise of a king that would some day come, a promise that would never be rescinded despite Israel’s sin.
The prophet Micah speaks of this in chapter four verse eight. “Unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”16
Beloved, although the messianic kingdom is rooted in past history, this original historical theocracy will one day be restored when the King comes again upon the earth and inaugurates that kingdom in perfect righteousness and glory, a theocratic kingdom upon the earth. The Old Testament prophets speak about these promises over and over. Amos, for example, connects the future kingdom to the Davidic dynasty in Amos nine verse 11.
“In that day,” the prophet says, “I will raise up the fallen booth of David, And wall up its breaches; I will also raise up its ruins And rebuild it as in the days of old.”17
The future ruler of the mediatorial kingdom we know will be a member of the human race, Genesis 3:15. He will be of the seed of Abraham, Genesis 17:18. He will be of the tribe of Judah, Genesis 49:10. He will be a rod from the family of Jesse, Isaiah 11 verse one. He will be a branch out of the royal line of David, Jeremiah 23:5. He will be born at the village in Bethlehem in the land of Palestine, Micah chapter five and verse two. And he will be born of a mother who is a Jewish virgin, Isaiah 7:14. Moreover, the prophets tell us that he will sit on the throne of David, Isaiah nine and verse seven, executing judgment and righteousness in the land, Jeremiah 33:15.
And, beloved, the Word of God tells us that he will fulfill his covenant promises, that they can never be abrogated nor will they ever be transferred. Again, as I read earlier, Jeremiah 33 verse 20.
Thus says the LORD, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne.18
Obviously that is not going to happen because we cannot prevent the orbit of the earth around the sun. And later in the New Testament we see the initial fulfillment of this covenant being set into motion at the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ who was the promised seed of David, a topic that we will examine more fully at a later date.
So in the Old Testament we learn about a universal kingdom. We learn about a mediatorial kingdom. But as we have already seen a bit, we learn, thirdly, about a future earthly kingdom. Over and over again the Old Testament Scriptures speak of God establishing an earthly kingdom ruled by Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Daniel spoke of this in chapter two verse 44. There he says, “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.”19
And the prophet Zechariah tells us in chapter 14 verse nine, “And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.”20
Now, as we study the Old Testament Scriptures we see that there are a variety of preparatory events that must transpire before this earthly kingdom is inaugurated upon the earth. Before the establishment of the kingdom the prophets spoke of “the day of Jehovah” or “the day of the Lord.” And, of course, this is detailed more fully in our Lord’s Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25 as well as in the book of Revelation where the Lord reveals very specifically and chronologically the events that will transpire just before he returns in a time known as the tribulation.
But the prophet Malachi speaks of this in chapter four verse five describing it as, “The coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.”21 And Joel speaks of it as well in chapter two verse 31. He says, “The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.”22
Now, people, understand that this is a period of time that is associated with the kingdom of Old Testament prophecy. It is a time of unrevealed and indefinite length, but one that corresponds with the general character of an actual Jewish solar day, a solar day which for the Jews began at sunset and extended to the next sunset as we read in Leviticus 23:32. This would consist, therefore, of, first of all, a period of darkness followed by a period of light. And, similarly as we study the Word of God we see that the great day of the Lord is pictured as a period composed of both darkness and light, the sequence being the same. First there is the night and then the light of the glory, of the rising of the sun.
Isaiah states the order in chapter 60 and verse two. “Behold, darkness will cover the earth.”23 Then he goes on to add, “But the LORD will rise upon you.”24 The prophets described that day as beginning with the darkness of divine wrath. For example in Isaiah chapter 34 verse eight we read, “For the LORD has a day of vengeance.”25 And then he speaks how that day will give way to the light of divine blessing in Isaiah 35 verse one we read that that will be a time when the wilderness and the desert will be glad. Verse two speaks of the time when Zion will rejoice and shout for joy. It talks about how that they will see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.
However, it is interesting, this two fold division of the day of the Lord also included a third category according to the prophets, namely events that would occur just prior to or before that great day, events associated with the dawning period between the darkness and the light.
Those of you who like me like to hunt know what it is like to be in a tree in the dark and then after a little bit you begin to see the faintest light begin to emerge as the dawning of the sun begins to happen. There are many events prophetically that the prophets speak about that will occur during that time of the day of the Lord. I will give them to you briefly in their historical chronology as we see some of them, not all of them in the Old Testament.
First, we know that a court of judgment will convene in heaven around the throne of the ancient of days according to Daniel chapter seven, nine through 10.
The prophets speak of Elijah the prophet who will come and be sent primarily to Israel, Malachi 4:5 to call the remnant of Israel to repentance in Isaiah chapter four and verse four and expose the frailty of men and call them to worship the God of glory in his kingdom, Isaiah 40 verses six through nine. And after man’s long misrule upon the earth, warfare and chaos will literally engulf the world. The prophet Isaiah tells us in chapter 33 verse seven, “The ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.”26 So much for the UN.
In Isaiah chapter 24 verse one, “Behold, the LORD lays the earth waste, devastates it, distorts its surface and scatters its inhabitants.”27 We also read of a blasphemous political ruler that will ascend to world power, Isaiah 14:16, the man who will make the earth tremble and shake the kingdoms.
The widespread military conflicts will then become fertile soil for the antichrist to arise. He will be a leader that will eventually, according to the prophet, start out as a minor figure and then he will emerge out of the final subdivisions of the ancient Roman empire according to Daniel 7:7-8. The prophets tell us that he will make a treaty with Israel and quickly violate that treaty in Daniel chapter nine and verses 26 and 27 and that he will then exalt himself above every God, Daniel 11:36. Daniel also tells us that he will have great military success against the powers of the north and the south in Daniel 11:40-43 and that he will persecute the saint for three and a half years, Daniel 7:25.
Before the Lord returns the prophets also tell us that there will be great geological and cosmic disturbances. Haven’t we seen a little sample of that even in the last week in Haiti? The prophet Isaiah tells us in chapter 24 verse 20, “The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard.”28 This is also further described in Joel’s prophecy is Joel chapter two and, of course, in Revelation chapter six verses 12 through 17. And just prior to the final outpouring of divine wrath the prophets tell us that much of the earth will be enveloped with darkness.
I should say all of the earth will be enveloped with darkness. Zephaniah chapter one beginning at verse 14.
Near is the great day of the LORD, Near and coming very quickly; Listen, the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day of wrath is that day, A day of trouble and distress, A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom, A day of clouds and thick darkness.29
Also the prophets tell us that a confederacy of nations that hate Israel will be led by a great northern power and attack Israel and be defeated on the mountains of Israel just before Israel’s final regathering and conversion as we read about in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
And, of course, we see that beginning to come together, coalesce even today with the confederacy that Russia is making with the Islamic nations. Ezekiel 38:21 says, “‘I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,’ declares the Lord GOD.”30 In other words, God will defeat these vast armies.
The prophets also tell us that the wrath of God will come upon the nation of Israel during that time because of her rebellion combined with God’s elective purposes for his beloved people her future will include unparalleled suffering. In fact, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of this in chapter 30 verse seven. “Alas! for that day is great, There is none like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s distress, But he will be saved from it.”31 And in verse 11. “I,” God says, “will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, Only I will not destroy you completely. But I will chasten you justly And will by no means leave you unpunished.”32
The prophets speak, as well, of a time when God will judge the Gentile nations. Isaiah 26:21. “For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.”33 The psalmist tells us in Psalm two that God will literally laugh at the nations. But he will also take action according to Zephaniah 3:8. “‘Therefore wait for Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘For the day when I rise up as a witness. Indeed, My decision is to gather nations, To assemble kingdoms, To pour out on them My indignation, All My burning anger; For all the earth will be devoured By the fire of My [jealousy].’”34 And then at the dawning of the day of the Lord, the Messiah King, the Lord Jesus Christ will return in all of his glory. Zechariah 14:7 says, “For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.”35 Oh, beloved, can you imagine the majesty of the King’s arrival? Isaiah speaks of this in chapter 25 verse nine. “And it will be said in that day, ‘Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited.’”36
And the prophet tell us, as well, in the Old Testament that at that time the antichrist, that blasphemous servant of Satan will meet his eternal end.
Daniel 11:45 says, “He will come to his end, and no one will help him.”37 I find it fascinating that while the tyrants of the world from Pharaoh to Hitler have always been obsessed with the disposal of their body, their human remains, we see that God will treat the antichrist in a way that is remarkably ignominious. Daniel describes this in chapter seven verse 11. He says, “I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.”38
And then the prophets speak of the return of the Lord to establish his kingdom, this new light, this new day of messianic glory when our Lord and Savior will blaze forth in Isaiah chapter 60 verse one.
Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.39
The prophets also speak of a time of resurrection, of corporate Israel. Isaiah 26:19. “Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.”40
There will be a time of repentance for the Israelites in the land. Zechariah 13:9. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”41
Israel’s repentance will bear much fruit throughout the world. It will be a time of spiritual cleansing from uncleanness according to Zechariah 13:1. It will be a time where they will absolutely abandon all of their false gods and false prophets we read in Zechariah 13:2. And, according to Isaiah 63:13 the expression of their grief, the level of their remorse as a nation will be so incredibly profound that it will require divine comforting.
Beloved, that is the stuff of genuine repentance.
Moreover, Israel’s repentance will spark a world wide revival. The psalmist tells us in Psalm 67:7, “God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.”42
It will also be a magnificent time of regathering of dispersed Israelites. Jeremiah 29:14. “‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’”43
Jeremiah 32 verse 37 as well. “Behold, I will gather them out of all the lands to which I have driven them in My anger.”44 He goes not o say, “And I will bring them back to this place.”45 Verse 42, “For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.”46
And the prophets tell us that when the Lord of glory ascends his throne he will immediately act judicially as the reigning king. He will judge the living Israelites, Ezekiel 20 and verse 38. There we read, “And I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me.”47
The prophets tell us that he will also judge the living Gentile nations. We read of this in Joel’s prophecy chapter three verse one.
For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat.48
Jehoshaphat means Yahweh judges. He goes on to say.
Then I will enter into judgment with them there On behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; And they have divided up My land. They have also cast lots for My people, Traded a boy for a harlot And sold a girl for wine that they may drink.49
Indeed, dear friends, when Christ comes to this earth as the Messiah King he will establish, finally, a mediatorial government. Isaiah 32:1. “Behold a king shall reign.”50
It goes on to say, “And princes will rule.”51 The psalmist tells us in Psalm 72:11. “All nations shall serve him.”52 His name shall endure forever.
We know according to the prophet Zechariah in chapter 14 verse nine that his kingdom will be universal in extent. It won’t just be in one tiny area. There the prophet tells us in that day the Lord shall be king over all the earth. In fact, in Daniel 2:34 it says it will fill the whole earth. And according to chapter seven verse 14 it will include all people, all nations and all languages. What a remarkable day that will be.
And the psalmist gives even greater detail describing the universal scope and reign of the king. He tells us in Psalm 72 beginning in verse eight:
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.53
He goes on to say, “Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him.”54
Now please understand. In one sense the mediatorial kingdom upon the earth when the Lord comes to reign for 1000 years will ultimately be merged into the universal kingdom and, thus, perpetuated forever. We read more of this in other passages. For example, in 1 Corinthians 15 verses 24 through 28. So it is called an everlasting kingdom in Psalm 72 in verses 15 and 17, in Daniel 7:14.
And Isaiah said it so clearly in Isaiah chapter nine verse seven, speaking of this day and of this kingdom. He says, “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.”55 And I love this last phrase. “The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”56
Well, the Old Testament also describes amazing blessings that will occur during the time of the kingdom upon the earth and we will examine that the next time we are together. But, beloved, here we pause on our journey through the Scriptures as they relate to the coming king and to his kingdom. And I can only pray that you will somehow grasp the big picture of the plan of redemption, that you will be able, therefore, to fall on your face with humility and say, “Oh, God, thank you that you are a sovereign, merciful, gracious, faithful God and that there is absolutely nothing in the world or under the world that can thwart your purposes.” And then to thank him for saving you and perhaps to even echo the doxology of the apostle Paul who said, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”57
Let’s pray together.
Father, thank you for these eternal truths. Cause them to overwhelm us with a sense of your power and your love and your faithfulness that we might walk obediently with you and spread the glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the world. And, Lord, for those who, perhaps, are in the sound of my voice and really know nothing of the Savior that we honor and love, oh God, will you be merciful to them, overwhelm them with a sense of their own sinfulness that they might run to the foot of the cross and cry out for the mercy that can be theirs through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. For it is in his name that I pray. Amen.
1 Psalm 10:16.
2 Psalm 103:19.
3 1 Chronicles 29:11.
4 Psalm 148:7-11.
5 Colossians 1:17.
6 Genesis 1:26.
7 Exodus 19:6.
8 Psalm 114:1-2.
9 Malachi 3:6.
10 Jeremiah 33:17.
11 Jeremiah 33:20-22.
12 Zechariah 14:7, 9.
13 Ezekiel 11:23.
14 Hosea 5:15.
15 Hosea 3:5.
16 Micah 4:8.
17 Amos 9:11.
18 Jeremiah 33:20-21.
19 Daniel 2:44.
20 Zechariah 14:9.
21 Malachi 4:5.
22 Joel 2:31.
23 Isaiah 60:2.
25 Isaiah 34:8.
26 Isaiah 33:7.
27 Isaiah 24:1.
28 Isaiah 24:20.
29 Zephaniah 1:14-15.
30 Ezekiel 38:1.
31 Jeremiah 30:7.
32 Jeremiah 30:11.
33 Isaiah 26:21.
34 Zephaniah 3:8.
35 Zechariah 14:7.
36 Isaiah 25:9.
37 Daniel 11:45.
38 Daniel 7:11.
39 Isaiah 60:1-3.
40 Isaiah 26:19.
41 Zechariah 13:9.
42 Psalm 67:7.
43 Jeremiah 29:14.
44 Jeremiah 32:37.
46 Jeremiah 32:42.
47 Ezekiel 20:38.
48 Joel 3:1-2.
49 Joel 3:2-3.
50 Isaiah 32:1.
52 Psalm 72:11.
53 Psalm 72:8-9.
54 Psalm 72:11.
55 Isaiah 9:7.
57 Romans 11:33.