Your Kingdom Come
by Christine Egbert
The good news—the complete gospel of the kingdom—is far greater than what the Messiah accomplished at His first coming, which was the forgiveness of sin and the promise of everlasting life to whosoever places their faith in His death, burial, and resurrection. Personal salvation, as fundamental as it is, is merely the beginning. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
In spite of the fact that the Messiah, Jesus (Yeshua) prayed (and taught us to pray), “Your kingdom come and Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”, most Christians today believe they will go to heaven (and the unsaved to hell) as soon as they die. But that doctrine is antithetical to what Scripture teaches from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible teaches that those whose names are written in the Book of Life, who sleep (are dead) in the dust shall awake (resurrect) to everlasting life. Death according to the Bible is like sleep! Once the breath (the spirit of God) departs, man dies. He sleeps in the dust, for from dust man came and to dust he will return, until the resurrection.
Here is a condensed overview of what Scripture teaches: Immediately after the tribulation (Matthew 24:29), the Son of man returns in the glory of His Father with all his angels to reward every man according to his works. (Matthew 16:27). The first resurrection of the dead occurs and those who belong to the Messiah are changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52, Matthew 24:29-31). All nations are gathered to Jerusalem, the throne of the Lord (Jeremiah 3:17), and the King will separate one from another, as a shepherd divides the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:32). Jesus (Yeshua) will say to those on the right, “Come, you blessed of my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:31-33). The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God (Revelation 11:15).
Satan is bound for 1000 years (Revelation 20:2-3), then loosed for a time to deceive the nations of the earth and gather them to encamp around the beloved city (Jerusalem) to battle against God’s righteous ones. Fire from heaven consumes them, Satan is thrown in to the Lake of Fire where the false prophet and the beast are. (Revelation 20:7-10)
Books are opened. Graves give up the dead of those who had no part in the first resurrection to stand judgment according to their deeds before God’s Great White Throne. Found guilty, they are thrown into the Lake of Fire to partake of what Scripture calls “the second death.” (Revelation 20:12-15) Then our present heaven and earth pass away. A new heaven and new earth appear. When the New Jerusalem descends from heaven prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband, a voice proclaims (Revelation 21:3): “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them.”
Tabernacle among them? Tabernacle among them Where? On the New Earth, in the New Jerusalem. Why? Because “God declares the end from the beginning,” (Isaiah 46:9-10). Thus we must read the front of God’s Word to find the answer.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth … and it was very good. (Genesis 1:1; 31). God made man, Adam, in His image, breathed His Spirit into him, then planted a Garden (the paradise of God) in Eden, where the Tree of Life was (Revelation 2:7). God instructed Adam to work and guard His garden, then formed Eve from one of Adam’s ribs, for it was not good for Adam to be alone. They were free to eat fruit from all of the lush trees in the garden, except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Then the serpent (nâchâsh in Hebrew), deceived Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. When she gave it to her husband, he ate of it as well. When God questioned them about their disobedience, Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed Eve. God curses the serpent, putting enmity between its seed and the woman’s Seed, then proclaims the first Messianic prophecy in Scripture: The woman’s Seed will one day crush the serpent’s head.
God multiplies the woman’s sorrow in conception and childbirth, then tells Adam the ground will be cursed and for all of his days he will eat from it by the sweat of his brow. From dust he was made and to dust he will return. God covers their nakedness (their sinful state) with coats made from animal skins, then exiles them from the Garden (Paradise) and places two cherubs with flaming swords at the east entrance of the Garden to guard the way to the Tree of Life (in the paradise of God, see Revelation 2:7)
Roman’s 5:12-15 (TLV)
Just as sin came into the world through one man (Adam) and death through sin, in the same way death spread to all men because all sinned. For up until the Torah, sin was in the world, but sin does not count as sin when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in a manner similar to the violation of Adam, who is a pattern of the One to come. But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if many died because of the transgression of one man, how much more did the grace of God overflow to many through the gift of one Man—Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah.
God’s Feast Days (Leviticus 23:2), are His “mo’ed”, Appointed Times. The Spring Feasts tell of the Creator’s plan of redemption, which He set in motion during the Messiah’s first coming. God’s Fall Feasts are all about the Messiah’s restoration of all things spoken by the Prophets (Acts 3:19-21) that occur before Messiah returns.
Romans 8:19-21 For the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of the One who subjected it—in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
The righteous will inherit the Land and live on it forever! (Psalms 27:39)
I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. These great beasts are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever. (Daniel 7:16-18)
“I have set up My king upon Zion, My holy mountain. I will declare the decree of the LORD (Yahweh). He said to me: “You are My Son—today I have become Your Father. Ask Me, and I will give the nations as Your inheritance and the far reaches of the earth as Your possession. (Psalms 2:6-8)
Then your people will all be righteous. They will possess the land forever—the branch of His planting, the work of My hands—that I may be glorified. The smallest will become a thousand, and the least a mighty nation. I, the LORD (Yahweh), will hasten it in its time.” (Isaiah 60:21-22)
Since the Bible is filled with verses about the resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the righteous living on the earth forever, where did so many Christians get the unscriptural idea that they’ll go to heaven when they die? Some might claim it comes from Luke 23:43, but before I quote it, let me explain that punctuation in Scripture was added by translators. One misplaced comma can change the meaning of a sentence, and the comma translators added after the word “you” and before the word “today” in Luke 23:43 did just that. Jesus (Yeshua) would not have said, “Amen, I tell you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise,” because Jesus (Yeshua) already proclaimed he would be in the grave for three days and three nights. Instead the comma should have been placed after the word “today”.
“I tell you today, you shall be with me in paradise.” Jesus (Yeshua)—who preached the resurrection of the dead— was assuring the thief on the cross that he would be resurrected at Jesus’ (Yeshua’s) return (when the curse on the earth would end and paradise on earth would be restored).
So where did the going to heaven belief come from? According to Christian apologist N.T. Wright, a former Anglican bishop who teaches about early Christianity and the New Testament at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, and Christopher Morse of Union Theological Seminary in New York, classic Judaism and first-century Christians expected the world to be transformed into God’s Kingdom—a restored Eden where redeemed human beings would live, liberated from death, illness, sin, and other corruptions. (cogwriter.com/heaven.htm)
An anonymous, likely first-century, document often referred to as “I Clement” states this: “The Apostles received the Gospel for us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ was sent forth from God. So then Christ is from God, and the Apostles are from Christ. Both therefore came of the will of God in the appointed order. Having therefore received a charge and having been fully assured through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and confirmed in the word of God with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth with the glad tidings that the kingdom of God should come.”
Here is something to think about. The Greek philosopher Plato as well as doctrine taken from Mithraism—unlike the Bible—teach that the righteous go to heaven upon death. I will close by quoting the second-century (anti-Semitic) Catholic Church Father Justin Martyr, who like the proverbial stopped clock that is right twice a day, wrote this: “For I choose to follow not men or men’s doctrines, but God and the doctrines [delivered] by Him. For if you have fallen in with some who are called Christians, but who do not admit this [truth], and venture to blaspheme the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, who say there is no resurrection of the dead, and that their souls, when they die, are taken to heaven, do not imagine that they are Christians.” (see Dialogue with Trypho. Chapter 80)