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The Time is Fulfilled; the Kingdom is at Hand…

January 4, 2013

When Christ began His ministry, He said, “the time if fulfilled; the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15. Those words are true, but they mean more now and in a different way…

1. It’s a different time that’s fulfilled. Peter said, “Be not ignornant; a day is with the Lord as 1000 years…God is not slack…the day of the Lord will come.” The 4th Commandment gives men six days to do their work and implies that we are entering on God’s time on the 7th day. So it is after 6,000 years. 2 Peter 3:8 says not to ignore it. “May 5, 2000: The date that Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will line up with the sun and moon–the first time in 6,000 years.” TIME Mag. implies it’s God’s time?

2. It’s a different kingdom that’s at hand. Christ taught that the kingdom of heaven is within you–blessed are the meek, the merciful, the pure… When the disciples asked about the external kingdom in Acts 1:6, Christ said it wasn’t for them to know “the times and seasons,” a phrase linked to external kingdoms from Dan 2:21.

But Paul uses the same phrase–of “the times and seasons…you know the  day of the Lord [end-time apocalyptic period] comes suddenly when they shall say ‘Peace and safety,’ sudden destruction comes.” 1Thess 5:3.

Paul’s use of “the times and seasons” links back to Dan 2:21,45 when “in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom.” (Not after 7 last plagues when no king is standing at Christ’s visible coming.)

Paul understood the basis of the kingdom was a covenant relationship as God said to Israel–“If you will keep my covenant, you will be to Me a kingdom,” Exod 19:5. Paul included that history when he said, “All those things happened to them for examples…ends of the world.” 1Cor 10:1,11

3. The gospel (good news) has meant different things to different people. The good news in Noah’s time was a boat; it just didn’t seem like good news to most people. The good news for Abraham was real estate, but it took faith to leave everything else for it. The good news in Moses’ time was deliverance for bondage. In Christ’s time, it meant eternal salvation.

The good news for us is better than those, because it includes all of them and more! “He will make us ruler over all that He has” if we meet the conditions in Luke 12:35-37, a wedding parable that we don’t understand. On the topic of the wedding, Christ’s imagery shows we are asleep with our lights out, Matt 25:5. Its messengers are scorned and ill-treated in Matt 22:3-6.

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