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The Kingdom

19th March 2007, mgh

 

5) Jesus fulfilling the Old Testament

Jesus explained to those who rejected him that The writings of the Old Testament had prophesied of him.

"You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me.” (John 5:39 WEB)

Jesus' instruction to his disciples was that their work was to preach the good news of the future kingdom. This instruction was given to the disciples after Jesus resurrection.

He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. (Mark 16:15-16 WEB)

At this stage the kingdom still had not come. The disciples asked Jesus when the Kingdom would come and were told it would be at some unspecified time in the future.

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. (Acts 1:6-7)

Jesus explains that knowledge of this Kingdom is detailed in the writings of Moses and the Prophets, which were regularly read in the Temple and the synagogues.

He said to them, "Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Didn't the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?" Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27 WEB)

It follows that Jesus did not negate the prophets, rather he saw himself as fulfilling them, and this includes the prophecy of the things he would do when he became a king on Earth. Jesus said

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (Matthew 5:17)

David's words recorded in Psalm 72 would have been well known to the people of Israel. This Psalm depicts a peaceful and glorious future for the earth. Jesus at his second coming will establish his right to the throne of David as promised to David.

God, give the king your justice; your righteousness to the royal son. He will judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice. The mountains shall bring prosperity to the people. The hills bring the fruit of righteousness. He will judge the poor of the people. He will save the children of the needy, and will break the oppressor in pieces. They shall fear you while the sun endures; and as long as the moon, throughout all generations. He will come down like rain on the mown grass, as showers that water the earth. In his days, the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, from the River to the ends of the earth. Those who dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him. His enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the islands will bring tribute. The kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yes, all kings shall fall down before him. All nations shall serve him. For he will deliver the needy when he cries; the poor, who has no helper. He will have pity on the poor and needy. He will save the souls of the needy. He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence. Their blood will be precious in his sight. They shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. Men shall pray for him continually. They shall bless him all day long. There shall be abundance of grain throughout the land. Its fruit sways like Lebanon. Let it flourish, thriving like the grass of the field. (Psalm 72:1-16 WEB)

This prophecy is specific and refers to nations and physical things like grass and gold. It says also that all the world's political leaders wil serve this future king in Israel. Jesus by claiming to be the promised king, saying “to this end was I born” (John 18:37) also identifies himself with the king of this Psalm.

Isaiah also gives a vision of a world at peace with a righteous king in many places, but Isaiah 35 is probably the most familiar section of his prophetic writings.

The wilderness and the dry land will be glad. The desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose. It will blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing. Lebanon's glory Lebanon will be given to it, the excellence of Carmel and Sharon. They will see Yahweh's glory, the excellence of our God. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.... No lion will be there, nor will any ravenous animal go up on it. They will not be found there; but the redeemed will walk there. The Yahweh's ransomed ones will return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." (Isaiah 35:1-10 WEB)

At no time in the past has the earth been in such as state. Note that Isaiah is not dreaming, rather he says these things will occur. Also this prophecy has locations, real places on earth with easily identifiable modern place names.

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