Here are people who read the book of Revelation, but don't think that it's describing real events. They would say, Jesus is just going to return spiritually. Don't take that stuff literally. That's not to be fulfilled physically. He descends into your life.
That's all he's ever going to do. There's an ancient Hebrew word for that's pronounced baloney. I reserve that word just for people like that. Throughout history, men have tried to usher in what might be described as a golden age. A golden age is a phrase used to describe a period of peace and prosperity.
There have been multiple attempts by well-intended men to describe how it would be possible. Well friend, a time is coming when Jesus Christ is going to literally return to this earth. He will reign and rule over this planet for a thousand years.
We call that period of time the Millennial Kingdom. Today on Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen takes us to that passage to teach what that kingdom will be like. He's called this message the Golden Age. One Christian artist painted a picture of Jesus being excluded by the nations of our world as they in their futility attempt to bring about world peace.
Perhaps you've seen it before. Jesus is pictured standing next to the United Nations building there on First Avenue, knocking on the side of the building as if to say, would you like to include me in your plans of world peace and global harmony? Our world longs for peace. They just don't want the Prince of Peace. The world really doesn't want to hear talk of Jesus Christ returning a sovereign ruler, and because of their unbelief, according to the Bible, all those who refuse the claims of Christ will one day be excluded from this coming Golden Age. Now how do we know that the coming king is Jesus?
How do we know that this ruling king in the coming kingdom is the same person? Many Jewish scholars believe there are two messiahs, one who would suffer and one who would reign. And if all you had was the Old Testament prophecies, you might be led to the conclusion that conclusion, since the Old Testament prophets often did not make a clear distinction between the first coming of Christ and his second coming.
A gap that we now know has lasted some 2,000 years with this new creation the prophets knew nothing of at all called the church. But by comparing the Old Testament and the New Testament, you have a clear picture that these are not two men, but one man, the God-man, Jesus Christ. Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would in his reign one day exalt every valley and make every mountain low and the crooked path straight and the rough places plain. Isaiah 40 verses 3 to 4.
John the baptizer appears centuries later as the forerunner of the Messiah and he says, Oh, by the way, he will make every crooked path straight, every mountain low, every valley lifted and every rough way smooth. David prophesied that the Messiah would be hated without a cause in Psalm 35, 19. John's gospel records our own Lord saying they hated me and they have hated my father. But this has come to pass so that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law.
They hated me without a cause. John 15, 23 and 25. Is the Old Testament Messiah the same person as Jesus Christ? The prophet Zachariah said that the king of Israel would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey and he prophesied that people would rejoice throughout Jerusalem at his coming. Zachariah 9 verse 9. Centuries later, Jesus Christ rides into Jerusalem on a donkey and the crowd shouts Hosanna to the son of David.
Mark 11, 7 to 11. Even more specifically, David foretold of the Messiah's close friend with whom he would share bread, bread from his own hand. That close friend would lift up his heel against him and betray him. Psalm 41 verse 9. In Matthew's gospel, Judas Iscariot receives bread from the hand of Jesus and then slips out to betray him, to lift his heel against him. Matthew 13, 26. Zachariah even promised that the price of that betrayal would be 30 pieces of silver in chapter 11 verse 13. Matthew chapter 27 verse 3 tells us of that event where Judas, filled with remorse though not repentance, returns to the chief priests and scribes and he says to them, I have betrayed innocent blood and they say to him, we don't really care. And Judas throws onto the temple floor 30 pieces of silver. Matthew 27 verse 3. David prophesied of the crucifixion of the Messiah as he wrote with divinely ordained precise foresight. As he says in Psalm 22, 16, a band of evil doers has encompassed me and they have pierced my hands and my feet. Is that the method of execution of the Messiah? John 20, 25 has Jesus Christ, the resurrected Lord, entering that room where the disciples have assembled and Thomas with them. And he says to Thomas, see my hands.
He's retained the scars for all time. Paul would write in Philippians chapter 2 verse 8, he will humble himself even unto death, death on a what? Cross. David also wrote in Psalm 22, they divided my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots. Matthew's gospel records and when they had crucified him, the soldiers divided up his garments among themselves by casting lots. Listen, how specific can you get? How many more prophecies would you need of the 109?
I'll give you a few more. Is the crucified Messiah the Savior who died for the sins of mankind? Isaiah 53 says he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The chastening for our well-being fell on him and by his scourging, we are healed.
All of that happened as he was beaten. All we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way, but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him. God the Father speaking of God the Son. The apostle Paul will write centuries later in Romans 5 verses 6 to 9, while we were helpless at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. One will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for a good man someone might dare even to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more than having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through him. David also wrote of our Lord's resurrection and leading, he uses this phrase, leading captivity captive.
I believe emptying paradise from Hades and into the place of heaven with him. Psalm 68 18. Paul uses the same language when Christ descended up on high, he led captivity captive. Ephesians 4 8 to 10. Is the Lord of the Old Testament the suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53, the same person as the resurrected and ascended Christ of the New Testament?
Absolutely. The prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles of the New Testament agree in unison and without any contradiction. He is one in the same. But let me ask another question. If the Messiah of the Old Testament is the same person as the Messiah of the New Testament, how do we know that that Messiah will one day come back literally to rule the world?
I mean, think about it. Isn't it enough that he died for us? Isn't it enough that he will take us to heaven? How do we know that this same one will reign and we with him in the kingdom? How do we know that he's going to come back and rule on planet Earth? Well, for starters, we know that he's going to come back for a second time for the same reason we know he came the first time. The scriptures and, in fact, the very record of history as a witness testify to the first coming of Christ and his death and the witnesses testify to his resurrection. The same inspired book tell us he's coming back again and one day all of history will culminate in the appearing of Jesus Christ and his redeemed with him.
It won't be at that occasion to knock on the side of the United Nations building and politely ask to be included in their plans. When he comes the second time, the days of invitation will be over and he will judge the nations and set up his undisputed, uncontested, unchallenged, invincible throne. Psalm chapter 2 reveals that the rule of Christ will be universal. It prophesies of this coming reign with precision.
In fact, just turn there. Turn to Psalm chapter 2, okay? Just listen to David as he writes. Sometimes it's a conversation between God the Father and God the Son. They speak of one another.
It's amazing. Listen to what he writes in verse 1 of Psalm chapter 2. Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing?
Well, David, what's the futility of their devising? Verse 2, the kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed, that's a phrase in the Old Testament for the Messiah, saying, let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their accords from us. In other words, we're not going to be accountable to triune God.
We're not going to bend our knee to him. We're not going to be restricted to his anointed. Now watch verse 4. He who sits in the heavens laughs.
The Lord scoffs at them. Then he will speak to them in his anger and terrify them in his fury, saying, but as for me, I have installed my king upon Zion, my holy mountain, that's Jerusalem. I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord. He said to me, you are my son. Today I have begotten you.
Ask of me and I will surely give you the nations as your inheritance and the very ends of the earth as your possession. In other words, the king is coming. Now, how do you respond to that?
Well, here's how. Look at verse 10. Now, therefore, O king, show discernment. Take warning, O judges of the earth.
You know, for heaven's sake, wise up. That's my paraphrase. Verse 11, worship the Lord with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the son that he not become angry. And you perish in the way, for his wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in him. Is that a picture of Revelation 6 to 19 or what? Is it an introduction to Revelation chapter 20 or what?
Perfectly. The wrath of God is revealed against the nations and you have all of these cataclysmic events and then the son will take the throne. You'd better bend your knee to him now so that you can reign with him then or you'll have to be subjugated by him then forever in his great and terrible judgment. And then as he takes the throne, thus begins the golden age.
It really does come true. Jeremiah 30 prophesied that Israel would be converted. Abraham restored the sons of Abraham to her land. Paul did the same in Romans 11. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah and Zephaniah and more refer to this global kingdom with Jerusalem as the capital city.
And I have an artist rendering that I'm saving according to specifications of what that looks like. And let me tell you, you will never think about it the same ever again. Isaiah records that the millennial kingdom will be a time of unprecedented peace and harmony and justice. Micah repeats the prophecy of Isaiah as he says, the nations will hammer their swords into plows, their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift sword against nation, they will be trained for war no more.
The golden age will literally come to pass. You see, ladies and gentlemen, the United Nations of our world want the right thing. They're just looking in the wrong direction. And the religious liberals aren't helping either. They're in pulpits around our country today. They're not doing any good.
In fact, they're blind people leading the blind. They would say, a good religious liberal if we had him here, which we won't. Jesus is just going to return spiritually. Don't take that stuff literally. It's not to be fulfilled physically. He descends into your life.
That's all he's ever going to do. That's what's known as spiritualizing the second coming. There's an ancient Hebrew word for that's pronounced baloney.
I reserve that word just for people like that. It's utterly ridiculous. The reason it's ridiculous is that not one of the prophecies relating to the first coming were spiritual. They were physical. They were literal. If the prophecy said Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, it meant literal Bethlehem. He was literally physically born. Why would we take the prophecies of Jesus reigning in Jerusalem spiritually?
It's just a nice thing to think. Listen, if the prophecies in the Old Testament related to Christ's first coming actually happened literally, we have every reason to believe then that all the prophecies of his second coming will happen literally. No interpreter of the Bible has the right or the authority or the discernment to have some kind of dual hermeneutic, some kind of dual interpretive system. That one's literal. That one's spiritual. That one's physical.
That one's metaphorical. That one's not going to happen. That one will. That one's not going to ever take place. This one will.
We have every reason to believe because the Bible says so, that planet Earth during the millennial kingdom will physically experience the conditions of pre-fall, the garden. Food will be plentiful. The animal kingdom will no longer fear mankind, and mankind will no longer fear the animal kingdom. Yeah, I can have a cat.
I just thought I'd throw that in there. No longer be afraid of cats. A child, we're told, a nursing child can play with the cobra. I mean, that redefines a child's rattler, doesn't it? Isaiah writes that the cow and the bear will graze together beyond our backyard fence, cows and heifers and newborn calves are grazing. Imagine letting a bear loose in that pasture.
What would happen? In the kingdom, everything will be changed, even what they eat. The bear will no longer eat a cow.
He'll graze on grass. Isaiah 65 says that life spans for the believers entering the kingdom who survived the tribulation. They enter the kingdom as believers after that judgment that sends the goats to await their final torment, and those who are believing, the sheep, into the kingdom, they're going to marry and multiply, and that will be the population over the thousand years that exceeds anything we could imagine that we will reign over. We're told that those people will have life spans like Adam and the patriarchs before them, that they're going to live for hundreds of years. In fact, Isaiah says that a hundred-year-old man will be considered a youth, a young man, just getting broken in.
A hundred today means everything's breaking, right? Imagine somebody's going to say, now, how can that be? That can't be literal. What's harder to believe? That God could translate us to heaven, and all the liberals believe that, and we're going to have a body that can last forever, but he can't somehow create a body that'll last a few hundred years?
You ever sat alone and just thought about how long that would be, and you kind of think, you try to think, we can't think, and as you get a little flash and everything shuts down, it crashes, and you've got to reboot the whole system. We can't grasp it. Is Jesus Christ the one who's going to literally, physically return? You know Jesus knew that that question would be asked, and he knew that that doubt would rise, and so he made sure that his angels not only announced his first coming, he made sure his angels announced his second coming. Let me show you where, at least one passage, Acts chapter 1. Acts chapter 1, we're moving toward Revelation. Jesus is about to ascend. He's surrounded by his disciples, and he provides this final challenge, a wonderful promise and challenge. Verse 8, but you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth. Now watch what happens next, verse 9. And after he had said these things, he was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received him out of their sight, and it obscured their view. And as they were gazing intently into the sky, while he was going, behold, two men in white clothing, those would be angels, stood beside them, and they said, men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, this same Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you watched him go into heaven.
Now how clear is that? Was Jesus just ascending spiritually? Were the disciples having a mystical experience? Was that a mystical ascension? Was that some kind of mystical fluffy cloud?
Was that a mystical angel? Literal, physical sight, physical ascension, a real cloud, and he disappears. And suddenly two men dressed in white say, the same way you saw him go up, he's going to come back down in the future. And the golden age will one day come then, when the prince of peace physically comes back to reign, and that prince is none other than the promised one of the Old Testament, the suffering savior who died as a lamb of the New Testament, who also resurrected from the grave.
It's the same person who's coming back. All right, turn to Revelation chapter 20. Turn to Revelation chapter 20 for just a, for a second here.
Well don't interpret that literally. Maybe longer, just for a moment though, we don't have much time. Let's answer one question.
How long will it last? I've said a thousand years, but how do we know that? And is the Bible clear? Well look at verse four. Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded. These are the believers who died during the tribulation because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God and those who had not worshiped the beast, that is the antichrist, or his image, had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand, and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
They're part of the group that reigns with him, and we'll look at the three or four different groupings in our next session. This is the first resurrection. Blessed, verse six, and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection.
Including us, by the way. Over these, the second death has no power. The second death is a reference in scripture to hell. But they will be priests of God and of Christ, which means we're having direct communion with him, and will reign with him for a thousand years. Now how long will the kingdom reign of Christ be? I don't know. I'm not sure. We're not told specifically. About six times in seven verses, we're told a thousand years.
You want to get your pencil out? Here we go. Verse two, the latter part. He laid hold of the dragon, bound him for a thousand years, verse two. Verse three, near the end, until the thousand years were completed. Last part of verse four, they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Verse five, the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.
Those are the unbelievers. Last part of verse six, and will reign with him for a thousand years. Verse seven, when the thousand years are completed, I'm just not sure God's specific enough here. Should we take him literally? How many times does God have to tell us, and through the prophets and the apostles and our own Lord's words and from the lips of angels, that there's a coming, literal, physical presence and reign of Christ on earth, and it will include us, and it will be beyond our imagination.
You see, the believer, and I hope as we study this together, you'll capture why the apostle Paul was so excited about the kingdom. We tend to skip. We go from earth to heaven. There's this amazing interlude, prelude, called the millennial kingdom.
It is a golden age, and it is for real. He who went up is coming back down again. I love the words to that old gospel song, I didn't see Jesus when he went up, but I'll see him when he comes down.
You know, it's even more than that, if I could tweak the theology. I wasn't with him when he went up, but I'll be with him when he comes down. I wasn't with him when he went away, but I'll be with him when he comes back. He is Messiah. He is God with us. He is the living Lord. He is the Savior who died for us, was buried, resurrected, ascended, and he's coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus is coming back as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I hope that right now, today, he's the King and Lord of your life.
You've been listening to Stephen Davey here on Wisdom for the Heart. Today's lesson is called The Golden Age. It comes from the series Stephen's entitled Thy Kingdom Come. Sometimes the book of Revelation can be confusing.
Not only that, but you've probably heard teachers who have taught conflicting things regarding how to interpret the book. Here at Wisdom International, Stephen's goal and commitment is to simply let the Bible speak for itself and to faithfully teach from God's Word. If it would help you to be able to listen to this message again, or if you'd like to share it with a friend, we have it available in two ways. This lesson and all of Stephen's teaching is posted to our website, and you can listen there or download the files free of charge, anytime. You'll find us at wisdomonline.org. We also make each series available as a set of CDs.
We can give you information about that when you call. Give us a call at 866-48-BIBLE if you'd like that series on CD. I hope we hear from you very soon, and I hope you'll be with us next time. We're going to continue through this series from Revelation, here on Wisdom for the Heart. We'll see you next time. We'll see you next time.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 12:19:25 / 2023-04-21 12:29:04 / 10