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The Kingdom of Heaven/The Kingdom of God

Kingdom of Heaven

 

HEADNOTE TO THE REVELATION:
WRITER: The Apostle John (1.1)
DATE: A.D. 96
THEME: The theme of the Revelation is Jesus Christ (1.1), presented in a threefold way: (1) As to time: “which is, and which was, and which is to come” (1.4); (2) as to relationships–the churches (1.9-3.22), to the tribulation (4.1-19.21), to the kingdom (20.1-22.21); (3) in His offices–High Priest (8.3-6), Bridegroom (19.7-9), King-Judge (20.1-15).
               But while Christ is thus the central theme of the book, all of the events move toward one consummation, the bringing in of the covenanted kingdom. The key-phrase is the prophetic declaration of the “great voices in heaven” (Re 11:15), lit, “The world kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ has come.” The book is, therefore, a prophecy (Re 1:3).
               The three major divisions of Revelation must be clearly held if the interpretation is to be sane and coherent. John was commanded to “write” concerning three classes of “things” (Re 1:19):

I. Things past, “the things thou hast seen,” i.e. the Patmos vision, 1.1-20. II. Things present, “the things which are,” i.e. things then existing–obviously the churches. The temple had been destroyed, the Jews dispersed: the testimony of God had been committed to the Churches (1Ti 3:15). Accordingly we have seven messages to seven representative churches, 2.1-3.22. It is noteworthy that the church is not mentioned in chapters 5.-18. III. Things future, “things which shall be hereafter,” lit. “after these,” i.e. after the church period ends, 4.1-22.21. The third major division, as Erdman (W.J.) has pointed out, falls into a series of six sevens, with parenthetical passages, making, with the church division, seven sevens. The six sevens are: 1. The seals, 4.1-8.1. 2. The seven trumpets, 8.2-11.19. 3. The seven personages, 12.1-14,20. 4. The seven vials (bowls), 15.1-16.21. 5. The seven dooms, 17.1-20.15. 6. The seven new things, 21.1-22.21.
The parenthetical passages are: (I) The Jewish remnant and the tribulation saints, 7.1-17. (II) The angel, the little book, the two witnesses, 10.1-11.14. (III) The Lamb, the Remnant, and the everlasting Gospel, 14.1-13. (IV) The gathering of the kings at Armageddon, 16.13-16. (V) The four alleluias in heaven, 19.1-6. These passages do not advance the prophetic narrative. Looking backward and forward they sum up results accomplished, and speak of results yet to come as if they had already come. In Re 14:1, for example, the Lamb and Remnant are seen prophetically on Mount Sion, though they are not actually there till Re 20:4-6.
The end of the church period (2.-3.) is left indeterminate. It will end by the fulfilment of 1Th 4.14-17. Chapters 4.-19. are believed to synchronize with Daniel’s Seventieth Week (Cmt. on Da 9:24). The great tribulation begins at the middle of the “week,” and continues three and a half years (Re 11.3-19.21). The tribulation is brought to an end by the appearing of the Lord and the battle of Armageddon (Mt 24:29-30; Re 19:11-21). The kingdom follows (Re 20:4-5); after this the “little season” (Re 20:7-15), and then eternity.
Interpreters of the Revelation should bear in mind two important passages: 1Pe 1:12; 2Pe 1:20-21. Doubtless much which is designedly obscure to us will be clear to those for whom it was written as the time approaches. Margin: angel Cmt. on Heb 1:4

Thomas Armitage, The History of the Baptists, Volume 1, “Chapter V. The King in Zion—Laws of the New Kingdom.” see esp. pp. 58-61 (excellent deals also w/separation of church and state and toleration; p64: Christ’s teachings were truth, not dogma.).

N1 to Ps. 2.6, p600 “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” (The second Psalm gives  the order of the establishment of the kingdom. It is in six parts: (1) The rage of the Gentiles, the vain imagination of “people” (Jews), and the antagonism of rulers against Jehovah’s anointed Ps 2:1-3. The inspired interpretation of this is in Ac 4:25-28 which asserts its fulfilment in the crucifixion of Christ. (2) The derision of Jehovah Ps 2:4 that men should suppose it possible to set aside His covenant 2Sa 7:8-17 and oath Ps 89:34-37. (3) The vexation Ps 2:5 fulfilled, first in the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70; and in the final dispersion of the Jews at that time; and to be fulfilled more completely in the tribulation Mt 24:29 which immediately precedes the return of the King. Mt 24:30. (4) The establishment of the rejected King upon Zion Ps 2:6. (5) The subjection of the earth to the King’s rule Ps 2:7-9; and (6) the present appeal to the world powers. Ps 2:10-12. See Psalm 8., next in order of the Messianic Psalms. (Note. Psalms 2. 8. 16. 22. 23. 24. 40. 41. 45. 68. 69. 72. 89. 102. 110. and 118. are considered as Messianic. It is not questioned that many other Psalms also refer to Christ.)

        N1 to Ps. 68.1, p630 “To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David. Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.” (The entire Psalm is pervaded by the joy of Israel in the kingdom, but a stricter order of events begins with verse 18. This is quoted Eph 4:7-16 of Christ’s ascension ministry. Verses 21-23 refer to the regathering of Israel, and the destruction of the Beast and his armies. (See “Beast,” Cmt. on Da 7:8). (See “Beast,” Cmt. on Re 19:20). (See “Armageddon” Cmt. on Re 16:16, Re 19:17-19. Verses 24-35 are descriptive of full and universal kingdom blessing. (See “Kingdom” (O.T.), Cmt. on Ge 1:26. Cmt. on Zec 12:8. See Psalm 69., next in order of the Messianic Psalms.)

N1 to Ps. 72.1, p633 “Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.” (The Psalm as a whole forms a complete vision of Messiah’s kingdom so far as the O.T. revelation extended. All David’s prayers will find their fruition in the kingdom (Ps 72:20); 2Sa 23:1-4. Verse 1 refers to the investiture of the King’s Son with the kingdom, of which investiture the formal description is given in Da 7:13-14; Re 5:5-10; Ps 72:2-7,12-14 give the character of the kingdom. (Cf) Isa 11:3-9. The emphatic word is righteousness. The sermon on the Mount describes the kingdom of righteousness. Verses 8-11 speak of the universality of the kingdom. Verse 16 hints at the means by which universal blessing is to be brought in. Converted Israel will be the “handful of corn” Am 9:9 as the King Himself in death and resurrection was the single grain, the “corn of wheat” Joh 12:24 “To the Jew first” is the order alike of Church and kingdom. Ro 1:16; Ac 13:46; 15:16-17. It is through restored Israel that the kingdom is to be extended over the earth. Zec 8:13,20-23. See Psalm 89., next in order of the Messianic Psalms.)

Kingdom of heaven: Kingdom of heaven prophesied in Daniel 2.44-5 and N1 p902 thereto.

J. Vernon McGee, Matthew Vol. 1, pp7-9: “The church is not the Kingdom of Heaven, but is in the kingdom of heaven.  It is the reign of the heavens over the earth. The Kingdom of heaven is the theme of Mt. The Sermon on the Mount is the law of that kingdom, the Mystery Parables are about the kingdom, and The Olivet Discourse looks forward to the establishment of the kingdom here upon this earth. Etc.

Ex. 16.23-36. The Sabbath given to Israel; type of Israel’s kingdom. (Heb. 4.8, 9 [For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.  There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.]).

Is. 4. The vision of the future kingdom. (vs. 1-6. Cf. Isa. 11.1-16).

N1, 2 to Is. 11.1 p723. “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:” (N1: The order of events in Isa. 10., 11., is noteworthy. Isa. 10. gives the distress of the Remnant in Palestine in the great tribulation. Ps 2:5; Re 7:14 and the approach and destruction of the Gentile host under the Beast. Da 7:8; Re 19:20. Is. 11. immediately follows with its glorious picture of the kingdom-age. Precisely the same order is found in Re 19., 20. (See “Kingdom,” O.T., Ge 1:26-28; Zec 12:8 N.T. Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28. Also Cmt. on Mt 3:2 Cmt. on Mt 6:33.
That nothing of this occurred at the first coming of Christ is evident from a comparison of the history of the times of Christ with this and all the other parallel prophecies. So far from regathering dispersed Israel and establishing peace in the earth, His crucifixion was soon followed (A.D. 70) by the destruction of Jerusalem, and the utter scattering of the Palestinian Jews amongst the nations.

N2 shall come forth a rod This chapter is a prophetic picture of the glory of the future kingdom. This is the kingdom announced by John Baptist as “at hand.” It was then rejected, but will be set up when David’s Son returns in glory Lu 1:31-32; Ac 15:15-16. Margin: Branch Cmt. on Isa 4:2)

Is. 11. The Davidic Kingdom set up: (1) The King’s ancestry. (Cf. Mt. 1.1).

Is. 11.2. (2) The source of the King’s power: the sevenfold Spirit. (Cf. Rev. 1.4). “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Is. 11.3-5. The character of his reign. And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

Is. 11.6-8. (4) The quality of the kingdom. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.”

Is. 11.9. (5) The extent of the kingdom. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

Is. 11.10-16. (6). How the kingdom will be set up. “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.  And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.  And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.”

Is. 12.1-6. The worship of the kingdom.

Is. 12. The worship of the kingdom.

Is. 14.1-8 “(4) The kingdom set up: Israel restored and exalted. (See “Kingdom, O.T..,” Gen 1.26-28; Zech. 12.8, note; N.T., Lk. 1.31-33; 1 Cor. 15.28)

Is. 14.7-8 (5) The joy of the kingdom. “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us.”

Is. 24. Looking through the troubles to the kingdom-age (v. 23).

Is. 24.22-23: The first resurrection: the kingdom-age begun. “And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.  Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”

Is. 25. Triumphs of the kingdom-age.

Is. 26.20-27-13. Retrospect: order of events in establishing the kingdom. (1) The Gentile world-power destroyed. (2) Israel regathered (vs. 12-13).

Is. 29.17-24 (3) Blessing after deliverance (Is. 37.33-36): type of blessing in the kingdom after Rev. 19.19-21.

Is. 32. Promise and warning: tribulation: th King-Deliverer (Chapters 32-35).

N2 to Is. 32.1, p740 “Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.” (Cmt. on Isa 29:3. In chapters 32.-35. the same blended meanings of near and far fulfilments are found. The near view is still of Sennacherib’s invasion, the far view of the day of the Lord. Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21 and the kingdom blessing to follow.).

Is. 35. Kingdom blessing: the regathering of Israel.

Is. 52.1-7. Vision of Jerusalem in the kingdom-age.

Is. 61.3-65.24. Kingdom peace and blessing after the day of vengeance  anticipated (Isa. 61.3-65.24): (1) The restoration of Israel (extends to Isa. 62.12).

N1 to Is. 65.17, p769 “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Verse 17 looks beyond the kingdom-age to the new heavens and the new earth (see refs. at “create”), but verses 18-25 describe the kingdom-age itself. Longevity is restored, but death, the “last enemy” 1Co 15:26 is not destroyed till after Satan’s rebellion at the end of the thousand years. Re 20:7-14.).

Ez. 40.1-48.35. ISRAEL IN THE LAND DURING THE KINGDOM AGE.

Da. 2.44-45. The final world empire: the Kingdom of heaven. (See Mt. 3.2, note.). Da. 2:44-45 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.  Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.”

N1 to Da. 2.44, p902 “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (The passage fixes authoritatively the time relative to other predicted events, when the kingdom of the heavens will be set up. It will be “in the days of those kings,” i.e. the days of the ten kings (cf. Da 7:24-27 symbolized by the toes of the image. That condition did not exist at the advent of Messiah, nor was it even possible until the dissolution of the Roman empire, and the rise of the present national world system. See “Kingdom (O.T.)” Ge 1:26; Zec 12:8 “Kingdom (N.T.)” Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28, Cmt. on Mt 3:2 note (defining “kingdom of heaven”). Verse 45 repeats the method by which the kingdom will be set up. (Cf) Cmt. on Da 2:31 Ps 2:5-6; Zec 14:1-8,9.)

N2 to Da. 3.1, p902 “Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.” (The attempt of this great king of Babylon to unify the religions of his empire by self-deification will be repeated by the beast, the last head of the Gentile world-dominion Re 13:11-15 See note on “Beast, the” Cmt. on Da 7:8 Cmt. on Re 19:20. It has repeatedly characterized Gentile authority in the earth, e.g. Da 6:7; Ac 12:22 and the later Roman emperors.)

N2 to Da. 7.13, p910 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.” (This scene is identical with that of Re 5:6-10. There the ascription of praise of the “kings and priests” (cf. Da 7:18, 18, ref. a) ends with the words, “and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev. 6. opens the “vexing” of Ps 2:5 introductory to setting the king on Zion Ps 2:6; Re 20:4. The vision Da 7:9-14 reverses the order of events as they will be fulfilled. Verse 13 describes the scene in heaven (cf) Re 5:6-10 which, in fulfilment, precedes the events which Daniel sees in vision in Da 7:9-12. The historic order will be: (1) The investiture of the Son of Man with the kingdom Da 7:13-14; Re 5:6-10 (2) the “vexing” of Psa 2.5, fully described in Mt 24:21-22 Re 6.-18. (3) The return of the Son of Man in glory to deliver the “smiting” blow of Da 2:45; 7:9-11; Re 19:11-21. (4) The judgement of the nations and the setting up of the kingdom (Da 7:10,26-27; Mt 25:31-46; Re 20:1-6).

N3 to Da. 7.14, p910 “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” (Da 7:13-14 is identical with Re 5:1-7 and antedates the fulfilment of Da 2:34-35. Da 7:13-14; Re 5:1-7 describe the investiture of the Son of Man and Son of David with the kingdom authority, while Da 2:34-35 describes the crushing blow (Armageddon, “>Re 16:14 which destroys Gentile world-power, thus clearing the way for the actual setting up of the kingdom of heaven. Da 2:34-35; Re 19:19-21 are the same event.)

Da. 7.25-28 “25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.”

N1. to Da. 9.24, p914 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (These are “weeks” or more accurately, sevens of years; seventy weeks of seven years each. Within these “weeks” the national chastisement must be ended and the nation re-established in everlasting righteousness (Da 9:24). The seventy weeks are divided into seven == 49 years; sixty-two = 434 years; one = 7 years (vs. 25-27). In the seven weeks == 49 years, Jerusalem was to be rebuilt in “troublous times.” This was fulfilled, as Ezra and Nehemiah record. Sixty-two weeks == 434 years, thereafter Messiah was to come (Da 9:25). This was fulfilled in the birth and manifestation of Christ. Da 9:26 26 is obviously an indeterminate period. The date of the crucifixion is not fixed. It is only said to be “after” the threescore and two weeks. It is the first event in Da 9:26. The second event is the destruction of the city, fulfilled A.D. 70. Then, “unto the end,” a period not fixed, but which has already lasted nearly 2000 years. To Daniel was revealed only that wars and desolations should continue (cf. Mt 24:6-14.) The N.T. reveals, that which was hidden from the O.T. prophets Mt 13:11-17; Eph 3:1-10 that during this period should be accomplished the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven Mt 13:1-50 and the out-calling of the Church Mt 16:18; Ro 11:25. When the Church- age will end, and the seventieth week begin, is nowhere revealed. Its duration can be but seven years. To make it more violates the principle of interpretation already confirmed by fulfilment. Da 9:27 deals with the last week. The “he” of Da 9:27 is the “prince that shall come” of Da 9:26, whose people (Rome) destroyed the temple, A.D. 70. He is the same with the “little horn” of chapter 7. He will covenant with the Jews to restore their temple sacrifices for one week (seven years), but in the middle of that time he will break the covenant and fulfil Da 12:11; 2Th 2:3-4. Between the sixty-ninth week, after which Messiah was cut off, and the seventieth week, within which the “little horn” of Dan. 7. will run his awful course, intervenes this entire Church-age. Da 9:27 deals with the last three and a half years of the seven, which are identical with the “great tribulation.” Mt 24:15-28 “time of trouble” Da 12:1 hour of temptation” Re 3:10. (see “Tribulation,” Ps 2:5; Re 7:14). Cmt. on Ps 2:5. Cmt. on Ex 7:14.

1 make reconciliation
There is no word in the O.T. properly rendered reconcile. In the A.V. the English word is found # 1Sa 29:4 2Ch 29:24 Le 6:30 8:15 16:20 Eze 45:15,17,20 Da 9:24 but always improperly; atonement is invariably the meaning. Reconciliation is a N.T. doctrine # Ro 5:10 Cmt. on Col 1:21
               Margin: thy people Cf. # Ho 1:9 The Jews, rejected, are “thy people,” i.e. Daniel’s, not Jehovah’s though yet to be restored.
               Margin: reconciliation Heb. kaphar, atonement. See this verse note 1, and see note, # Ex 29:33 Cmt. on Ex 29:33)

Jl. 3.17-21 (2) Full kingdom blessing. (See Zech. 12.8, note).

Am. 9.11-12.  Part IV. Future kingdom blessing: (1) The LORD’S return and the re-establishment of the Davidic monarchy. Vs. 13-13: (2) Full kingdom blessing of restored Isreal.

Obad. 17-21. Edom to be included in the kingdom.

Mi. 4. The future kingdom of Messiah: universal … peaceful … universal prosperity … Israel to be regathered …intervening Babylonian captivity … how set up (Gentile nations against Israel & the battle of Armageddon).

N1 to Mi. 4.1, p946. “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” (General predictions concerning the kingdom. In Scripture a mountain is the symbol of a great earth power Da 2:35, hills, of smaller power. The prediction asserts (1) the ultimate establishment of the kingdom, with Jerusalem for the capital (Mic 4:1); (2) the universality of the future kingdom (Mic 4:2); (3) its character–peace (Mic 4:3); (4) its effect–prosperity (Mic 4:4) 4). Cf. Isa 2:1-5; 11:1-12. Margin: it shall be exalted See “remnant” Cmt. on Jer 15:21)

N2 p948 to Mi. 5.1. “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.” (The “word of the Lord that came to Micah” (Mic 4:1) having described the future kingdom Mic 4:1-8 and glanced at the Babylonian captivities Mic 4:9-10 goes forward into the last days to refer to the great battle (see “Armageddon,”) “>Re 16:14, Cmt. on Re 19:17 which immediately precedes the setting up of the Messianic kingdom (see “Kingdom (O.T.),” Ge 1:26 Cmt. on Zec 12:8 also, “Kingdom (N.T.), Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28. Mic 5:1-2 forms a parenthesis in which the “word of the Lord” goes back from the time of the great battle (yet future) to the birth and rejection of the King, Messiah-Christ Mt 27:24-25,37. This is followed by the statement that He will “give them up until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth” (Mic 5:3). There is a twofold “travail” of Israel: (1) that which brings forth the “man child” (Christ) Re 12:1-2 and (2) that which, in the last days, brings forth a believing “remnant” out of the still dispersed and unbelieving nation Mic 5:3; Jer 30:6-14; Mic 4:10. Both aspects are combined in Isa. 66. In Mic 5:7 we have the “man-child” (Christ) of Re 12:1-2 in Mic 5:8-15 the remnant, established in kingdom blessing. The meaning of Mic 5:3 is that, from the rejection of Christ at His first coming Jehovah will give Israel up till the believing remnant appears; then He stands and feeds in His proper strength as Jehovah (Mic 5:4); He is the defence of His people as in Mic 4:3,11-13 and afterward the remnant go as missionaries to Israel and to all the world. Mic 5:7-8; Zec 8:23.)

N2 to Mi. 5.7, p949: “And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.” (The ministry of the Jewish Remnant (Isa. 1.9; Rom. 11.5, note) has a twofold aspect, “a dew from the LORD”; “a lion among the beasts.” Turning to the Lord in the great tribulation (Psa. 2.5; Rev. 7.14. note), the remnant takes up to the beautiful gospel of the kingdom (Rev. 14.6, note) and proclaims it under awful persecution “unto all nations, for a witness” (Mt. 24.14). The result is seen in Rev. 7.4-14. This is the “dew” aspect, and is followed by the “day of the LORD” (Isa. 2.10-22; Rev. 19.11-21), in the morning of which the kingdom is set up in power. Again there is a world-wide preaching to Jew and Gentile, but now it is the word that the King is on His holy hill of Zion (Psa. 2.), and the unrepentant will be broken with His rod of iron (Psa. 2.6-9. The preaching is given in Psa. 2.10-22. this is the “lion” aspect of the remnant’s testimony (Rev. 2.26-28). The full kingdom-age of blessing follows the “rod of iron” aspect.)

Mi. 5. Birth & rejection of the King. (Cf. Mt. 2.1-6; 27. 24, 25, 37).

Mi. 5.4-15. In the kingdom age.

N2 to Mi. 5.7, p949. “And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men.” (The ministry of the Jewish remnant Isa 1:9 Cmt. on Ro 11:5 has a twofold aspect, “a dew from the Lord”; “a lion among the beasts.” Turning to the Lord in the great tribulation Ps 2:5. Cmt. on Re 7:14, the remnant takes up the beautiful gospel of the kingdom. Cmt. on Re 14:6 and proclaims it under awful persecution “unto all nations, for a witness.” Mt 24:14. The result is seen in Re 7:4-14 This is the “dew” aspect, and is followed by the “day of the Lord” Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21. In the morning of which the kingdom is set up in power. Again there is a world-wide preaching to Jew and Gentile, but now it is the word that the King is on His holy hill of Zion (Psa. 2.), and the unrepentant will be broken with His rod of iron. Ps 2:6-9. The preaching is given in Ps 2:10-12. This is the “lion” aspect of the remnant’s testimony. Re 2:26-28. The full kingdom-age of blessing follows the “rod of iron” aspect. < The ministry of the Jewish remnant Isa 1:9 Cmt. on Ro 11:5 has a twofold aspect, “a dew from the Lord”; “a lion among the beasts.” Turning to the Lord in the great tribulation Ps 2:5. Cmt. on Re 7:14, the remnant takes up the beautiful gospel of the kingdom. Cmt. on Re 14:6 and proclaims it under awful persecution “unto all nations, for a witness.” Mt 24:14. The result is seen in Re 7:4-14 This is the “dew” aspect, and is followed by the “day of the Lord” Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21. In the morning of which the kingdom is set up in power. Again there is a world-wide preaching to Jew and Gentile, but now it is the word that the King is on His holy hill of Zion (Psa. 2.), and the unrepentant will be broken with His rod of iron. Ps 2:6-9. The preaching is given in Ps 2:10-12. This is the “lion” aspect of the remnant’s testimony. Re 2:26-28. The full kingdom-age of blessing follows the “rod of iron” aspect.)

N2 to Hab. 2.3, p956. “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” (To the watching prophet comes the response of the “vision” Hab 2:2-20). Three elements are to be distinguished: (1) The moral judgment of Jehovah upon the evils practised by dispersed Israel (Hab 3:19,19). (2) The future purpose of God that, practised by dispersed Israel (Hab 2:5-13,15-19). (2) The future purpose of God that, “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14). That this revelation awaits the return of the Lord in glory is shown (a) by the parallel passage in # Isa 11:9-12 and (b) by the quotation of verse 3 in Heb 10:37-38 where the “it” of the “vision” becomes “he” and refers to the return of the Lord. It is then, after the “vision” is fulfilled, that “the knowledge of the glory,” etc, shall fill the earth. But (3) meantime, “the just shall live by his faith.” This great evangelic word is applied to Jew and Gentile in Ro 1:17 to the Gentiles in Ga 3:11-14 and to Hebrews (especially) in Heb 10:38. This opening of life to faith alone, makes possible not only the salvation of the Gentiles during the dispersion of Israel “among the nations” Hab 1:5; Ga 3:11-14 but also makes possible a believing remnant in Israel while the nation, as such, is in blindness and unbelief, Cmt. on Ro 11:1 with neither priesthood nor temple, and consequently unable to keep the ordinances of the law. Such is Jehovah! In disciplinary government His ancient Israel is cast out of the land and judicially blinded 2Co 3:12-15 but in covenanted mercy the individual Jew may resort to the simple faith of Abraham Ge 15:6; Ro 4:1-5 and be saved. But this does not set aside the Palestinian Cmt. on De 30:3 and Davidic Cmt. on 2Sa 7:16. Covenants, for “the earth shall be filled,” etc. (Hab 2:14),and Jehovah will again be in His temple (“>Hab 2:20). Cf. Hab 2:14,“>20; Ro 11:25-27.)

N1 to Hab. 2.14, p957 “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Cf. Isa 11:9 which fixes the time when “the earth,” etc. It is when David’s righteous Branch has set up the kingdom. (See “Kingdom (O.T.),” 2Sa 7:9; Zec 12:8 also, “Kingdom (N.T.),” Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28. Habakkuk’s phrase marks an advance on that of Isaiah. In the latter it is “the knowledge of the Lord.” That, in a certain sense, is being diffused now; but in Habakkuk it is “the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,” and that cannot be till He is manifested in glory Mt 24:30; 25:31; Lu 9:26; 2Th 1:7; 2:8; Jude 1:14. The transfiguration was a foreview of this. Lu 9:26-29.)

N1 to Zep. 1.7, p959 “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests.” (As in the other Prophets, the approaching invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is treated as an adumbration of the true day of the Lord in which all earth-judgments will culminate, to be followed by the restoration and blessing of Israel and the nations in the kingdom. See “Day of the Lord” Isa 2:10-22; Re 19:11-21 “Israel” Ge 12:2-3; Ro 11:26. CF. Joel 1.,2.).

N1 p961 to Zep. 3.9 “For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.” (In Zephaniah the conversion of “the peoples” is stated out of the usual prophetic order, in which the blessing of Israel and the setting up of the kingdom precedes the conversion of the Gentiles. Cmt. on Zec 12:1. Cmt. on Zec 12:8. But the passage gives clear testimony as to when the conversion of the nations will occur. It is after the smiting of the nations. Cf. Isa 11:9 with context; Da 2:34-35; Ps 2:5-8; Ac 15:15-17; Re 19:19-20:6.)

N1 to Haggai 2.9, p963 “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” (In a sense all the temples (i.e Solomon’s; Ezra’s; Herod’s; that which will be used by the unbelieving Jews under covenant with the Beast Da 9:27; Mt 24:15; 2Th 2:3-4 and Ezekiel’s future kingdom temple Ez 40.-47.), are treated as one “house”–the “house of the Lord,” since they all profess to be that. For that reason Christ purified the temple of His day, erected though it was by an Idumean usurper to please the Jews. Mt 21:12-13. Margin: glory “Or, the future glory of this house shall be greater than the former.”).

N2 Zec. 3.10, p967 “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.” (Zec 3:10 marks the time of fulfilment as in the future kingdom. It speaks of a security which Israel has never known since the captivity, nor will know till the kingdom comes. (Cf. Isa 11:1-9.)

Zec, 2.4-13. Jerusalem in the kingdom-age.

N1 to Zec. 3.1, p967 “And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.” (The fifth vision discloses: (1) The change from self-righteousness to the righteousness of God Cmt. on Ro 3:21 of which Paul’s experience, Php 3:1-9 is the illustration, as it is also the foreshadowing of the conversion of Israel. (2) In type, the preparation of Israel for receiving Jehovah’s “BRANCH” Cmt. on Isa 4:2. The refusal of the Jews to abandon self-righteousness for the righteousness of God blinded them to the presence of the BRANCH in their midst at His first advent Ro 10:1-4; 11:7-8 Cf. Zec 6:12-15 which speaks of the manifestation of the BRANCH in glory (v. 13) as the Priest-King, when Israel will receive Him. Cmt. on Heb 5:6. Margin: angel Cmt. on Heb 1:4.).

N2 to Zec. 3.10, p967 “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.” (Zec 3:10 marks the time of fulfilment as in the future kingdom. It speaks of a security which Israel has never known since the captivity, nor will know till the kingdom comes. (Cf. Isa 11:1-9).).

Zec. 8.1-8. Jehovah’s unchanged purpose to bless Israel in the kingdom.

Zec. 8.20-23. Jerusalem to be the religious center of the earth.

N3 to Zec. 8.23, p972. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” (i.e. in the days when Jerusalem has been made the centre of the earth’s worship. Zec 8:23 explains: the Jew (see “Remnant,” Isa 1:9; Ro 11:5 will then be the missionary, and to the very “nations” now called “Christian”!)

N2 to Zec. 9.9, p973. Presentation of Christ as King at His first advent. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (The events following this manifestation of Christ as King are recorded in the Gospels. The real faith of the multitude who cried, “Hosanna” is given in Mt 21:11 and so little was Jesus deceived by His apparent reception as King, that He wept over Jerusalem and announced its impending destruction (fulfilled A.D. 70; Lu 19:38-44. The same multitude soon cried, “Crucify Him.”

N3 to Zec. 9.10, p973 “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” (Having introduced the King in Zec 9:9, Zec 9:10 and the verses which follow look forward to the end-time and kingdom. Except in verse 9, this present age is not seen in Zechariah.)

Zec. 9.10-17. The future deliverance of Judah and Ephraim, and the worldwide kingdom.

N1 to Zec. 12.1, p976 “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” The siege of Jerusalem by the Beast and his armiew. (Cf. Rev. 19.19-21.)(Zech. 12.-14. from one prophecy the general theme of which is the return of the Lord and the establishment of the kingdom. The order is: (1) The siege of Jerusalem preceding the battle of Armageddon (Zec 12:1-3); (2) the battle itself (Zec 12:4-9); (3) the “latter rain” in the pouring out of the Spirit and the personal revelation of Christ to the family of David and the remnant in Jerusalem, not merely as the glorious Deliverer, but as the One whom Israel pierced and has long rejected (Zec 12:10); (4) the godly sorrow which follows that revelation (Zec 12:11-14); (5) the cleansing fountain # Zec 13:1 then to be effectually “opened” to Israel.)

N2 to Zec. 12.8, p976 “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.” (Kingdom in O.T., Summary:
I. Dominion over the earth before the call of Abraham
(1) Dominion over creation was given to the first man and woman Ge 1:26,28. Through the fall this dominion was lost, Satan becoming “prince of this world” Mt 4:8-10; Joh 14:30.
(2) After the flood, the principle of human government was established under the covenant with Noah Cmt. on Ge 9:1. Biblically this is still the charter of all Gentile government.
II. The Theocracy in Israel. The call of Abraham involved, with much else, the creation of a distinctive people through whom great purposes of God toward the race might be worked out (see “Israel” Ge 12:1-3; Ro 11:26).
Among these purposes is the establishment of a universal kingdom. The order of the development of Divine rule in Israel is:
(1) The mediatorship of Moses Ex 3:1-10; 19:9; 24:12
(2) The leadership of Joshua Jos 1:1-5
(3) The institution of Judges Jg 2:16-18.
(4) The popular rejection of the Theocracy, and choice of a king– Saul, 1Sa 8:1-7; 9:12-17.
III. The Davidic kingdom
(1) The divine choice of David 1Sa 16:1-13
(2) The giving of the Davidic Covenant 2Sa 7:8-16; Ps 89:3-4,20-21,28-37.
(3) The exposition of the David Covenant by the prophets Isa 1:25-26; Zec 12:6-8.
See marg. “Kingdom” and refs. Cmt. on Isa 1:25 The kingdom as described by the prophets is:
(a) Davidic, to be established under an heir of David, who is to be born of a virgin, therefore truly man, but also “Immanuel,” “the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” Isa 7:13; 9:6; 11:1; Jer 23:5; Eze 34:23; 37:24; Ho 3:4-5.
(b) A kingdom heavenly in origin, principle, and authority Da 2:34-35,44-45 but set up on the earth, with Jerusalem as the capital Isa 2:2-4; 4:3; 24:23; 33:20; 62:1-7; Jer 23:5; 31:38-40; Joe 3:1,16-17.
(c) The kingdom is to be established first over regathered, restored, and converted Israel, and then to become universal Ps 2:6-8; 22:1-31; 24:1-10; Isa 1:2; 11:1,10-13; 60:12; Jer 23:5-8; 30:7-11; Eze 20:33-40; 37:21-25; Zec 9:10; 14:16-19
(d) The moral characteristics of the kingdom are to be righteousness and peace. The meek, not the proud, will inherit the earth; longevity will be greatly increased; the knowledge of the Lord will be universal; beast ferocity will be removed; absolute equity will be enforced; and outbreaking sin visited with instant judgment; while the enormous majority of earth’s inhabitants will be saved Isa 11:4,6-9; 65:20; Ps 2:9; Isa 26:9; Zec 14:16-21. The N.T. Re 20:1-5, adds a detail of immense significance–the removal of Satan from the scene. It is impossible to conceive to what heights of spiritual, intellectual, and physical perfection humanity will attain in this, its coming age of righteousness and peace. Isa 11:4-9; Ps 72:1-10.
(e) The kingdom is to be established by power, not persuasion, and is to follow divine judgment upon the Gentile world-powers Ps 2:4-9; Isa 9:7; Da 2:35,44; 7:26-27; Zec 14:1-19 Cmt. on Zec 6:11.
(f) The restoration of Israel and the establishment of the kingdom are connected with an advent of the Lord, yet future De 30:3-5; Ps 2:1-9 Zec 14:4.
(g) The chastisement reserved for disobedience in the house of David 2Sa 7:14; Ps 89:30-33 fell in the captivities and world-wide dispersion, since which time, though a remnant returned under prince Zerubbabel, Jerusalem has been under the overlordship of Gentile. But the Davidic Covenant has not been abrogated Ps 89:33-37 but is yet to be fulfilled. Ac 15:14-17. Margin: angel Cmt. on Heb 1:4.).

Zec. 14. Summary of events at the return of the LORD in glory: (1) Armageddon.(vv1-3); (2) The visible return in glory: physical changes in Palestine (vs. 4-10); (3) The river of the sanctuary. (Cf. Ezk. 47.1-12; Rev. 22.1, 2.)(v. 8); (4) The kingdom set up on the earth. (vv. 9-15); (5) The worship and spirituality of the kingdom. (vs. 16-21).

N1 to Zec. 14.9-15, p979. The kingdom set up on the earth. “9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one….” (The final answer to the prayer of Mt 6:10. CF. Da 2:44-45,24-27. See “Kingdom (N.T.)” Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:28.)

Zec. 14.16-21. The worship and spirituality of the kingdom.

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N1 p996 [to Mt. 3 “2 And saying Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”] “(1) The phrase, kingdom of heaven (lit. of the heavens), is peculiar to Matthew and signifies the Messianic earth rule of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. It is called the kingdom of the heavens because it is the rule of the heavens over the earth (Mt. 6.10). The phrase is derived from Daniel, where it is defined (Dan. 2.34-36, 44; 7.23-27) as the kingdom which ‘the God of heaven’ will set up after the destruction by ‘the stone cut out without hands’ of the Gentile world-system. It is the kingdom covenanted do David’s seed (2 Sam. 7.7-10, refs.); described in the prophets (Zech. 12.8, note); and confirmed to Jesus the Christ, the Son of Mary, through the angel Gabriel (Lk. 1.32, 33).
“(2) The kingdom of heaven has three aspects in Matthew: (a) ‘at hand’ from, the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist (Mt. 3.2) to the virtual rejection of the King, and the announcement of the new brotherhood (Mt. 12.46-50); (b) in seven ‘mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,’ to be fulfilled during the present age (Mt. 13.1-52), to which are to be added the parables of the kingdom of heaven which were spoken after those of Mt. 13., and which have to do with the sphere of Christian profession during this age; (c) the prophetic aspect—the kingdom to be set up after the return of the King in glory (Mt. 24.29-25.46; Lk. 19.12-19; Acts 15.14-17). See ‘Kingdom (N.T.)’ (Lk. 1.33; 1 Cor. 15.28). Cf. ‘Kingdom of God,’ Mt. 6.33, note.”

Barnes on Mt. 3.2: The kingdom of heaven is at hand. The phrases, kingdom of heaven, kingdom of Christ, and kingdom of God, are oœ frequent occurrence in the Bible. They all refer to the same thing. The expectation of such a kingdom was taken from the Old Testament, and especially from Daniel, Da 7:13-14. The prophets had told of a successor to David that should sit on his throne, 1Ki 2:4; 8:25; Jer 33:17. The Jews expected a great national deliverer. They supposed that when the Messiah should appear, all the dead would be raised; that the judgment would take place; and that the enemies of the Jews would be destroyed, and themselves advanced to great national dignity and honour.
The language in which they were accustomed to describe this event was retained by our Saviour and his apostles. Yet they early attempted to correct the common notions respecting his reign. This was one design, doubtless, of John in preaching repentance. Instead of summoning them to military exercises, and collecting an army, which would have been in accordance with their expectations, he called them to a change of life; to the doctrine of repentance–a state of things far more accordant with the approach of a kingdom of purity.
The phrases, kingdom of God and kingdom of heaven, have been supposed to have a considerable variety of meaning. Some have thought that they refer to the state of things in heaven; others, to the personal reign of Christ on earth; others, that they mean the church, or the reign of Christ in the hearts of his people. There can be no doubt that there is reference in the words to the condition of things in heaven, after this life. But the church of God is a preparatory state to that beyond the grave; a state in which Christ pre-eminently rules and reigns; and there is no doubt that it sometimes refers to the state of things in the church; and it means, therefore, the state of things which the Messiah was to set up– his spiritual reign began in the church on earth, and completed in heaven.
The phrase would be best translated, “the reign of God draws near.” We do not say commonly of a kingdom that it is moveable, or that it approaches. A reign may be said to be at hand; or the time when Christ should reign was at hand. In this sense it is meant that the time when Christ should reign, or set up his kingdom, or begin his dominion on earth, under the Christian economy, was about to commence. The phrase, then, should not be confined to any period of that reign, but includes his whole dominion over his people on earth and in heaven.
In the passage here it clearly means that the coming of the Messiah was near; or that the time of the reign of God, which the Jews had expected, was coming.
The word heaven, or heavens, as it is in the original, means sometimes the place, so called; and sometimes is, by a figure of speech, put for the Great Being whose residence is there; as in Da 4:26, “the heavens do rule.” See also Mr 11:30; Lu 15:18. As that kingdom was one of purity, it was proper that the people should prepare themselves for it by turning from their sins, and directing their minds to a suitable fitness for his reign.

Clark on Mt. 3.2. The kingdom of heaven is at hand – Referring to the prophecy of Daniel, Da 7:13,Da 7:14, where the reign of Christ among men is expressly foretold. This phrase, and the kingdom of God, mean the same thing, viz. the dispensation of infinite mercy, and manifestation of eternal truth, by Christ Jesus, producing the true knowledge of God, accompanied with that worship which is pure and holy, worthy of that God who is its institutor and its object. But why is this called a kingdom? Because it has its laws, all the moral precepts of the Gospel: its subjects, all who believe in Christ Jesus: and its king, the Sovereign of heaven and earth. N. B. Jesus Christ never saved a soul which he did not govern; nor is this Christ precious or estimable to any man who does not feel a spirit of subjection to the Divine will.
But why is it called the kingdom of Heaven? Because God designed that his kingdom of grace here should resemble the kingdom of glory above. And hence our Lord teaches us to pray, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. The kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink, says St. Paul, Ro 14:17; does not consist in the gratification of sensual passions, or worldly ambition; but is righteousness, peace, and joy, in the Holy Ghost. Now what can there be more than this in glory? Righteousness, without mixture of sin; peace, without strife or contention; joy, in the Holy Ghost, spiritual joy, without mixture of misery! And all this, it is possible, by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, to enjoy here below. How then does heaven itself differ from this state? Answer. It makes the righteousness eternal, the peace eternal, and the joy eternal. This is the heaven of heavens! The phrase, kingdom of heaven, מלכות שמים malcuth shamayim, is frequently used by the rabbinical writers, and always means, the purity of the Divine worship, and the blessedness which a righteous man feels when employed in it.
It is farther added, This kingdom is at hand. The dispensation of the glorious Gospel was now about to be fully opened, and the Jews were to have the first offers of salvation. This kingdom is also at hand to us; and wherever Christ crucified is preached, there is salvation to be found. Jesus is proclaimed to thee, O man! as infinitely able and willing to save. Believe in his name – cast thy soul upon his atonement, and enter into rest!

FBN on Mt. 3.2. Kingdom of heaven; the Messiah’s reign as predicted by the prophets, or the sway of Christ’s gospel and dispensation over the hearts, lives, and destinies of men, both in this world and in the next. This kingdom is spoken of in the Scriptures variously, in reference to its several aspects: first, in this world, as affecting the individual disciple in whose heart it is set up, as affecting the churches whom it gathers, and as influencing human society generally, even when not brought into the Christian church; and next, as extending from this world, through the judgment day, when it will be universally acknowledged, into the heavenly world, where it will reach its crowning glory. John the Baptist was its herald. Christ, after his resurrection and just before his ascension, declared his induction into it. Mt 28:18. The millennium and the judgment are stages in its continuous progress; and the consummation of the mediatorial kingdom is described. 1Co 15:24,28. Some texts in which the phrase is used refer mainly to one stage, and others to another, of its onward course. Men must hate and forsake their sins in order to be prepared for the kingdom of God. Pr 28:13.

JFB on Mt. 3.2.  for the kingdom of heaven is at hand–This sublime phrase, used in none of the other Gospels, occurs in this peculiarly Jewish Gospel nearly thirty times; and being suggested by Daniel’s grand vision of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of days, to receive His investiture in a world-wide kingdom (Da 7:13-14), it was fitted at once both to meet the national expectations and to turn them into the right channel. A kingdom for which repentance was the proper preparation behooved to be essentially spiritual. Deliverance from sin, the great blessing of Christ’s kingdom (Mt 1:21), can be valued by those only to whom sin is a burden (Mt 9:12). John’s great work, accordingly, was to awaken this feeling and hold out the hope of a speedy and precious remedy.

Lightfoot on Mt. 3.2. II. This manner of speech, the kingdom of heaven, is taken from Daniel, chapter 7:13, 14; where, after the description of the four earthly and tyrannical monarchies, that is, the Babylonian, Mede-Persian, Grecian, and Syro-Grecian, and the destruction of them at last; the entrance and nature of the reign of Christ is described, as it is universal over the whole world, and eternal throughout all ages: “under whom the rule, and dominion, and authority of kingdoms under the whole heaven is given to the people of the saints of the Most High,” verse 27: that is, “Whereas, before, the rule had been in the hands of heathen kings, under the reign of Christ there should be Christian kings.” Unto which that of the apostle hath respect, 1Co 6:2; “know ye not that the saints shall judge the world?”
Truly I admire that the fulfilling of that vision and prophecy in Daniel should be lengthened out still into I know not what long and late expectation, not to receive its completion before Rome and antichrist shall fall; since the books of the Gospel afford us a commentary clearer than the sun, that that kingdom of heaven took its beginning immediately upon the preaching of the Gospel. When both the Baptist and Christ published the approach of the kingdom of heaven from their very first preaching; certainly, for any to think that the fulfilling of those things in Daniel did not then begin, for my part, I think it is to grope in the dark, either through wilfulness or ignorance.
III. The kingdom of heaven implies, 1. The exhibition and manifestation of the Messias, Mt 12:28; “But if I, by the finger of God, cast out devils, the kingdom of God is come upon you”: that is, ‘Hence is the manifestation of the Messias.’ See Joh 3:3,12:13, &c. 2. The resurrection of Christ; death, hell, Satan, being conquered: whence is a most evident manifestation that he is that ‘eternal King,’ &c.: see Mt 26:29; Ro 1:4. 3. His vengeance upon the Jewish nation, his most implacable enemies: this is another, and most eminent manifestation of him: see Mt 16:28,19:28. 4. His dominion by the sceptre of the gospel among the Gentiles, Mt 21:43. In this place which is before us it points out the exhibition and revelation of the Messias.
IV. The phrase the kingdom of heaven very frequently occurs in the Jewish writers. We will produce some places; let the reader gather the sense of them:
“R. Joshua Ben Korcha saith, In reciting the phylacteries, why is Hear, O Israel, [De 6:4, &c.] recited before that passage And it shall come to pass, if you shall hearken [De 11:13], &c. To wit, that a man first take upon himself the kingdom of heaven, and then the yoke of the precept.” So the Jerusalem Misna hath it; but the Babylonian thus: “That a man first take upon himself the yoke of the kingdom of heaven, and then the yoke of the precept.”
“Rabh said to Rabbi Chaijah, We never saw Rabbi [Judah] taking upon himself the kingdom of heaven. Bar Pahti answered, At that time when he put his hands to his face, he took upon himself the kingdom of heaven.” Where the Gloss speaks thus: “We saw not that he took upon himself the kingdom of heaven; for until the time came of reciting the phylacteries, he instructed his scholars; and when that time was come, I saw him not interposing any space.”
“Doth any ease nature? Let him wash his hands, put on his phylacteries, repeat them, and pray, and this is the kingdom of heaven fulfilled.” “If thou shalt have explained Shaddai, and divided the letters of the kingdom of heaven, thou shalt make the shadow of death to be cool to thee”; that is, “If, in the repeating of that passage of the phylacteries [De 6:4], ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,’ &c., you shall pronounce the letters distinctly and deliberately, so that you shall have sounded out the names of God rightly, ‘thou shalt make cool the shades of death.'” For the same Gloss had said, The repeating of that passage, ‘Hear, O Israel,’ &c., is the taking of the kingdom of heaven upon thee. But the repeating of that place, ‘And it shall be, if thou shalt hearken,’ &c. [De 19:13] is the taking of the yoke of the precept upon thee.
“Rabban Gamaliel recited his phylacterical prayers on the very night of his nuptials. And when his scholars said unto him, ‘Hast thou not taught us, O our master, that a bridegroom is freed from the reciting of his phylacteries the first night?’ he answered, ‘I will not hearken to you, nor will I lay aside the kingdom of heaven from me, no, not for an hour.'”
“What is the yoke of the kingdom of heaven? In like manner as they lay the yoke upon an ox, that he may be serviceable; and if he bear not the yoke, he becomes unprofitable: so it becomes a man first to take the yoke upon himself, and to serve in all things with it: but if he casts it off, he is unprofitable: as it is said, ‘Serve the Lord in fear.’ What means, ‘in fear?’ the same that is written, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ And this is the kingdom of heaven.”
“The scholars of Jochanan Ben Zaccai asked, Why a servant was to be bored through the ear, rather than through some other part of the body? He answered, When he heard with the ear those words from mount Sinai, ‘Thou shalt have no other Lord before my face,’ he broke the yoke of the kingdom of heaven from him, and took upon himself the yoke of flesh and blood.”
If by the kingdom of heaven, in these and other such-like places, which it would be too much to heap together, they mean the inward love and fear of God, which indeed they seem to do; so far they agree with our gospel sense, which asserts the inward and spiritual kingdom of Christ especially. And if the words of our Saviour, “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you,” Lu 17:21, be suited to this sense of the nation concerning the kingdom of heaven, there is nothing sounds hard or rough in them: for it is as much as if he had said “Do you think the kingdom of heaven shall come with some remarkable observation, or with much show? Your very schools teach that the kingdom of God is within a man.”
But, however they most ordinarily applied this manner of speech hither, yet they used it also for the exhibition and revelation of the Messiah in the like manner as the evangelical history doth. Hence are these expressions, and the like to them, in sacred writers: “The Pharisees asked Jesus when the kingdom of God should come.” “They thought that the kingdom of God should presently be manifested.” “Josephus of Arimathea waited for the kingdom of God.”
And these words in the Chaldee paraphrast, “Say ye to the cities of Judah, The kingdom of your God is revealed,” Isa 40:9: “They shall see the kingdom of their Messiah,” Isa 53:11.
The Baptist, therefore, by his preaching, stirs up the minds of his hearers to meet the coming of the Messiah, now presently to be manifested, with that repentance and preparation as is meet.

PNTC on Mt. 3.2. The kingdom of heaven. The long expected kingdom ruled by the Messiah King, predicted by the prophets, and especially by Daniel (Da 2:44). The announcement of this anxiously-waited-for kingdom thrilled all Judea.
               Is at hand. It is to be noted: (1) That the kingdom to which he referred was in the future, but near. It did not begin with Abraham, or David, or even with John the Baptist. (2) It is the kingdom of heaven, not an earthly kingdom, and hence, must have a King sent from heaven. That King was not yet revealed to the public, but we have seen that one was born at Bethlehem who was to be the King. John was not the founder, but the herald of the coming King.

Poole on Mt. 3.2. For the kingdom of heaven is at hand; that blessed state of the church (foretold by the prophets) under the Messias, wherein God will exhibit his Son as the King in Zion, and exert his power and kingdom, both extensively, subduing all nations to the obedience of his gospel, and intensively, in all the administrations of his government; for the kingdom of heaven is not to be understood here of the kingdom of glory, but of the kingdom of grace, in all the administrations of it. This passage containeth the argument upon which the Baptist in his sermons pressed, repentance and faith, and obedience to the will of God revealed.

RWP on Mt. 3.2. For the kingdom of heaven is at hand (êggiken gar hê Basileia tôn ouranôn). Note the position of the verb and the present perfect tense. It was a startling word that John thundered over the hills and it re-echoed throughout the land. The Old Testament prophets had said that it would come some day in God’s own time. John proclaims as the herald of the new day that it has come, has drawn near. How near he does not say, but he evidently means very near, so near that one could see the signs and the proof. The words “the kingdom of heaven” he does not explain. The other Gospels use “the kingdom of God” as Matthew does a few times, but he has “the kingdom of heaven” over thirty times. He means “the reign of God,” not the political or ecclesiastical organization which the Pharisees expected. His words would be understood differently by different groups as is always true of popular preachers. The current Jewish apocalypses had numerous eschatological ideas connected with the kingdom of heaven. It is not clear what sympathy John had with these eschatological features. He employs vivid language at times, but we do not have to confine John’s intellectual and theological horizon to that of the rabbis of his day. He has been an original student of the Old Testament in his wilderness environment without any necessary contact with the Essenes who dwelt there. His voice is a new one that strikes terror to the perfunctory theologians of the temple and of the synagogue. It is the fashion of some critics to deny to John any conception of the spiritual content of his words, a wholly gratuitous criticism.

TFG on Mt. 3.2. The kingdom of heaven. Da 2:44. The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is peculiar to Matthew, who uses it thirty-one times {**}. He also joins with the other evangelists in calling it the “kingdom of God” (Mt 12:28; 19:24; 21:31,43). We know not why he preferred the expression, “kingdom of heaven.”
{**} Actually, thirty-two times in thirty-one verses.–Ed.
(TFG 66-67)

Wesley on Mt. 3.2. The kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of God, are but two phrases for the same thing. They mean, not barely a future happy state, in heaven, but a state to be enjoyed on earth: the proper disposition for the glory of heaven, rather than the possession of it. Is at hand – As if he had said, God is about to erect that kingdom, spoken of by Daniel, Da 2:44; 7:13-14; the kingdom of the God of heaven. It properly signifies here, the Gospel dispensation, in which subjects were to be gathered to God by his Son, and a society to be formed, which was to subsist first on earth, and afterward with God in glory. In some places of Scripture, the phrase more particularly denotes the state of it on earth: in, others, it signifies only the state of glory: but it generally includes both. The Jews understood it of a temporal kingdom, the seat of which they supposed would be Jerusalem; and the expected sovereign of this kingdom they learned from Daniel to call the Son of man. Both John the Baptist and Christ took up that phrase, the kingdom of heaven, as they found it, and gradually taught the Jews (though greatly unwilling to learn) to understand it right. The very demand of repentance, as previous to it, showed it was a spiritual kingdom, and that no wicked man, how politic, brave, or learned soever, could possibly be a subject of it.

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N3 p 998 to Mt. 4.17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.(“At hand” is never a positive affirmation that the person or thing said to be “at hand” will immediately appear, but only that no known or predicted event must intervene. When Christ appeared to the Jewish people, the next thing in the order of revelation as it then stood, should have been the setting up of the Davidic kingdom. In the knowledge of God, not yet disclosed, lay the rejection of the kingdom (and King), the long period of the mystery-form of the kingdom, the world-wide preaching of the cross, and the out-calling of the Church. But this was as yet locked up in the secret counsels of God. Mt 13:11,17; Eph 3:3-10.)
        Margin: kingdom See note #2, Cmt. on Mt 5:2. Margin: is at hand Cmt. on Mt 3:2.]

Abbott on Mt. 4.17.   Mt 4:17. Kingdom of heaven; that spiritual kingdom of which Christ is the head, the establishment of which is commended in this world, and is to be perfected in the world to come.

Burkitt on Mt. 4.17. Here our Savior begins to enter upon his prophetic office, and by preaching to make known the will of God to mankind; and observe, the doctrine which he preached is the same that John the Baptist did preach, namely, the doctrine of repentance, Repent ye: and the argument is the same also, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand: that is, now is the so much expected time of the appearing of the promised Messiah.
Learn hence, That the doctrine of Christ and his ambassadors is alike, and the same in substance: they both teach the doctrine of repentance to a lost world, as most suitable to the time and dispensation of the gospel.

JFB on Mt. 4.17. “Matthew 4:17  From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 17. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand–Thus did our Lord not only take up the strain, but give forth the identical summons of His honored forerunner. Our Lord sometimes speaks of the new kingdom as already come–in His own Person and ministry; but the economy of it was only “at hand” until the blood of the cross was shed, and the Spirit on the day of Pentecost opened the fountain for sin and for uncleanness to the world at large.

PNTC on Mt. 4.17. And to say, Repent, etc. The message that Jesus now preaches is identical with that of John the Baptist. See Mt 3:2. He commands repentance, and declares the kingdom of heaven is at hand, not yet come, but near. All is still preparatory. Jesus had not yet declared himself as the Messiah.

Poole on Mt. 4.17. Ver. 17. From the time of Christ’s baptism, or from the time that he heard that John was committed to prison, he, who before had preached and taught privately, and more rarely, began to preach more ordinarily and publicly, and the sum of his doctrine was the same with that of John the Baptist, confirming his doctrine, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. See the sense of those words, Mt 3:2; Mr 1:15.

TFG on Mt. 4.17. From that time Jesus began to preach. The time here indicated is that of John the Baptist’s imprisonment and Jesus’ return to Galilee (Mt 4:12). This time marked a new period in the public ministry of Jesus. Hitherto he had taught, but he now began to preach. When the voice of his messenger, John, was silenced, the King became his own herald. Paul quoted the Greeks as saying that preaching was “foolishness” (1Co 1:23), but following the example here set by Christ, he used it as the appointed means for saving souls. While Matthew gives us many of the earlier incidents of Christ’s life, he enters upon the account of his ministry at the time when Jesus returned to Galilee. From that time forward he was probably an eye-witness of the events which he records.
               And to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Cmt. on Mr 1:15.
(TFG 155)

Wesley on Mt. 4.17. From that time Jesus began to preach – He had preached before, both to Jews and Samaritans, Joh 4:41,45. But from this time begin his solemn stated preaching. Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand – Although it is the peculiar business of Christ to establish the kingdom of heaven in the hearts of men, yet it is observable, he begins his preaching in the same words with John the Baptist: because the repentance which John taught still was, and ever will be, the necessary preparation for that inward kingdom. But that phrase is not only used with regard to individuals in whom it is to be established, but also with regard to the Christian Church, the whole body of believers. In the former sense it is opposed to repentance; in the latter the Mosaic dispensation.

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N2 p999 to Mt. 5.2 “And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,” [Having announced the kingdom of heaven as “at hand,” the King, in Mat 5.-7., declares the principles of the kingdom. The Sermon on the Mount has a twofold application: (1) literally to the kingdom. In this sense it gives the divine constitution for the righteous government of the earth. Whenever the kingdom of heaven is established on earth it will be according to that constitution, which may be regarded as an explanation of the word “righteousness” as used by the prophets in describing the kingdom (e.g.) Isa 11:4; 32:1; Da 9:24 In this sense the Sermon on the Mount is pure law, and transfers the offence from the overt act to the motive. Mt 5:21-22,27-28. Here lies the deeper reason why the Jews rejected the kingdom. They had reduced “righteousness” to mere ceremonialism, and the Old Testament idea of the kingdom to a mere affair of outward splendour and power. They were never rebuked for expecting a visible and powerful kingdom, but the words of the prophets should have prepared them to expect also that only the poor in spirit and the meek could share in it (e.g.) Isa 11:4. The seventy-second Psalm, which was universally received by them as a description of the kingdom, was full of this. For these reasons, the Sermon on the Mount in its primary application gives neither the privilege nor the duty of the Church. These are found in the Epistles. Under the law of the kingdom, for example, no one may hope for forgiveness who has not first forgiven. Mt 6:12,14-15. Under grace the Christian is exhorted to forgive because he is already forgiven. Eph 4:30-32.
(2) But there is a beautiful moral application to the Christian. It always remains true that the poor in spirit, rather than the proud, are blessed, and those who mourn because of their sins, and who are meek in the consciousness of them, will hunger and thirst after righteousness, and hungering, will be filled. The merciful are “blessed,” the pure in heart do “see God.” These principles fundamentally reappear in the teaching of the Epistles.
Margin: saying The beatific character, unattainable by effort, is wrought in the believer by the Spirit, Ga 5:22-23.]

Mt. 7.21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

N1 to Mt. 8.2, p1005 “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” (The King, having in Chapters 5.-7. declared the principles of the kingdom, makes proof, in Chapters 8., 9., of His power to banish from the earth the consequences of sin, and to control the elements of nature.)

N1 to Mt. 6.33 p1003 “33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [The kingdom of God is to be distinguished from the kingdom of heaven Cmt. on Mt 3:2, in five respects: (1) The kingdom of God is universal, including all moral intelligences willingly subject to the will of God, whether angels, the Church, or saints of past or future dispensations Lu 13:28-29; Heb 12:22-23 while the kingdom of heaven is Messianic, mediatorial, and Davidic, and has for its object the establishment of the kingdom of God in the earth Cmt. on Mt 3:2 1Co 15:24-25. (2) The kingdom of God is entered only by the new birth Joh 3:3,5-7 the kingdom of heaven, during this age, is the sphere of a profession which may be real or false. Cmt. on Mt 13:3 Mt 25:1,11-12. (3) Since the kingdom of heaven is the earthly sphere of the universal kingdom of God, the two have almost all things in common. For this reason many parables and other teachings are spoken of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew, and of the kingdom of God in Mark and Luke. It is the omissions which are significant. The parables of the wheat and tares, and of the net Mt 13:24-30,36-43,47-50 are not spoken of the kingdom of God. In that kingdom there are neither tares nor bad fish. But the parable of the leaven Mt 13:33 is spoken of the kingdom of God also, for, alas, even the true doctrines of the kingdom are leavened with the errors of which the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians were the representatives. Cmt. on Mt 13:33. (4) The kingdom of God “comes not with outward show” Lu 17:20 but is chiefly that which is inward and spiritual Ro 14:17 while the kingdom of heaven is organic, and is to be manifested in glory on the earth. (See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Zech 12.8, note; (N.T.), Lu 1.31-33 1co 15.24, note; Mt 17.2, note.) Cmt. on Zec 12:8, Lu 1:31-33 Cmt. on 1Co 15:24 Cmt. on Mt 17:2 (5) The kingdom of heaven merges into the kingdom of God when Christ, having put all enemies under his feet, “shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” 1Co 15:24-28 Cmt. on Mt 3:2]

Mt. 10. Jesus sends the disciples to Israel only (not to the Gentiles). “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. “” (Cf. Joh 14:27. Peace is spoken of in Scripture in three ways: (1) “Peace with God” Ro 5:1 this is the work of Christ into which the individual enters by faith Eph 2:14-17; Ro 5:1. (2) “The peace of God” Php 4:7 inward peace, the state of soul of that believer who, having entered into peace with God through faith in Christ, has also committed to God through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving all his anxieties Lu 7:50; Php 4:6. (3) Peace “on earth” Lu 2:14; Ps 72:7; 85:10; Isa 9:6; 11:1-12 the universal prevalency of peace in the earth under the kingdom. Mt 10:34 was Christ’s warning that the truth which He was proclaiming would not bring in the kingdom age of peace, but conflict rather. Joh 14:27.)

N1, 2 to Mt. 11.11, 12, p1010 “Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” (N1 p1010: “Positionally greater, not morally. John the Baptist was as great morally, as any man “born of woman,” but as to the kingdom. he but announced it at hand. The kingdom did not then come, but was rejected, and John was martyred, and the King presently crucified. The least in the kingdom when it is set up in glory (see “Kingdom (N.T.)”) Lu 1:31-33; 1Co 15:24 will be in the fullness of power and glory. It is not heaven which is in question, but Messiah’s kingdom. Cmt. on Mt 3:2. Cmt. on Mt 6:33. Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2.” N2 p1010: “It has been much disputed whether the “violence” here is external, as against the kingdom in the persons of John the Baptist and Jesus; or that, considering the opposition of the scribes and Pharisees, only the violently resolute would press into it. Both things are true. The King and His herald suffered violence, and this is the primary and greater meaning, but also, some were resolutely becoming disciples. CF Lu 16:16.”)

N1 to Mt. 11.20 p1011 “Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not:” (The kingdom of heaven announced as “at hand” by John the Baptist, by the King Himself, and by the twelve, and attested by mighty works, has been morally rejected. The places chosen for the testing of the nation, Chorazin, Bethsaida, etc. having rejected both John and Jesus, the rejected King now speaks of judgment. The final official rejection is later. Mt 27:31-37.);

N2 to Mt. 11.28, p. 1011 “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (The new message of Jesus. The rejected King now turns from the rejecting nation and offers, not the kingdom, but rest and service to such in the nation as are conscious of the need. It is a pivotal point in the ministry of Jesus.)

N1 to Mt. 13.3, p1014. The seven parables of Mt. 13, called by our Lord “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (v11), taken together, describe the result of the presence of the Gospel in the world during the present age, that is, the time of seed-sowing which began with our Lord’s personal ministry, and ends with the “harvest” (vs. 40-43). Briefly, that result is the mingled tares and wheat, good fish  and bad, in the sphere of Christian profession.  It is Christendom.

N2 to Mt. 13.3, p1014. “The seven parables of Mat 13., called by our Lord, “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 13:11), taken together, describe the result of the presence of the Gospel in the world during the present age, that is, the time of seed sowing which began with our Lord’s personal ministry, and ends with the “harvest” Mt 13:40-43. Briefly, the result is mingled tares and wheat, good fish and bad, in the sphere of Christian profession. It is Christendom.”

N3 to Mt. 13.11, p1014. A “mystery in Scripture is previously hidden truth, now divinely revealed, but in which a supernatural element still remains despite the revelation The greater mysteries are: * * *.”

N2 p1015 to Mt. 13.17. [the tares among the wheat.]

Mt. 20.1-16: Parable of the laborers in the vineyard.

N1 p1016 to Mt. 13.30. [judgment of the tares]

N2 p1016 to Mt. 13.31. [Parable of the mustard seed]

N3 p1016 to Mt. 13.33. Parable of the leaven.

N4 p1016 to Mt. 13.33. Summary: * * *.

N1 p1017 to Mt. 13.43. Matthew 13:43: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” “The kingdom does not become the kingdom of the “Father” until Christ, having “put all enemies under his feet,” including the last enemy, death, has “delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” 1Co 15:24-28; Re 20:2. There is triumph over death at the first resurrection 1Co 15:54-55 but death, “the last enemy,” is not destroyed till the end of the millennium. Re 20:14. Margin: righteous Cmt. on Ro 10:10, Also, Col 3:4; 2Th 1:5-10.”

N2 p1017 to Mt. 13.44. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Parable of the treasure. “The interpretation of the parable of the treasure, which makes the buyer of the field to be a sinner who is seeking Christ, has no warrant in the parable itself. The field is defined (v. 38) to be the world. The seeking sinner does not buy, but forsakes, the world to win Christ. Furthermore, the sinner has nothing to sell, nor is Christ for sale, nor is He hidden in a field, nor, having found Christ, does the sinner hide Him again (cf) Mr 7:24; Ac 4:20. At every point the interpretation breaks down.
“Our Lord is the buyer at the awful cost of His blood 1Pe 1:18, and Israel, especially Ephraim Jer 31:5-12,18-20, the lost tribes hidden in “the field,” the world (v. 38), is the treasure Ex 19:5; Ps 135:4. Again, as in the separation of tares and wheat, the angels are used Mt 24:31; Jer 16:16. The divine Merchantman buys the field (world) for the sake of the treasure (v. 44) Ro 11:28, beloved for the fathers’ sakes, and yet to be restored and saved. The note of joy (v. 44) is also that of the prophets in view of Israel’s restoration. De 30:9; Isa 49:13; 52:1-3; 62:4-7; 65:18-19. (See “Israel,”) Ge 11:10; Ro 11:26. Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2.

N3 p1017 to Mt. 13.45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:” (The true Church, “one body” formed by the Holy Spirit 1Co 12:12-13. As Israel is the hid treasure, so the Church is the pearl of great cost. Covering the same period of time as the mysteries of the kingdom, is the mystery of the Church Ro 16:25-26; Eph 3:3-10; 5:32. Of the true Church a pearl is a perfect symbol: (1) A pearl is one, a perfect symbol of unity 1Co 10:17; 12:12-13; Eph 4:4-6. (2) a pearl is formed by the accretion, and that not mechanically, but vitally, through a living one, as Christ adds to the Church Ac 2:41; “>5:14; 11:24; Eph 2:21; Col 2:19. (3) Christ, having given Himself for the pearl, is now preparing it for presentation to Himself Eph 5:25-27. The kingdom is not the Church, but the true children of the kingdom during the fulfilment of these mysteries, baptized by one Spirit into one body 1Co 12:12-13 compose the true Church, the pearl. Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2.)

N4 p1017-18 to Mt. 13.47. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:” (The parable of the Net (Gr. drag-net) presents another view from that of the wheat and tares of the mysteries of the kingdom as the sphere of profession, but with this difference: there Satan was the active agent; here the admixture is more the result of the tendency of a movement to gather to itself that which is not really of it. The kingdom of heaven is like a net which, cast into the sea of humanity, gathers of every kind, good and bad, and these remain together in the net (v. 49) and not merely in the sea, until the end of the age. It is not even a converted net, much less a converted sea. Infinite violence has been done to sound exegesis by the notion that the world is to be converted in this age. Against that notion stands our Lord’s own interpretation of the parables of the Sower, the Wheat and Tares, and the Net.
Such, then, is the mystery form of the kingdom. Cmt. on Mt 3:2. Cmt. on Mt 6:33. It is the sphere of Christian profession during this age. It is a mingled body of true and false, wheat and tares, good and bad. It is defiled by formalism, doubt, and worldliness. But within it Christ sees the true children of the true kingdom who, at the end, are to “shine forth as the sun.” In the great field, the world, He sees the redeemed of all ages, but especially His hidden Israel, yet to be restored and blessed, Also, in this form of the kingdom, so unlike that which is to be, He sees the Church, His body and bride, and for joy He sells all that He has 2Co 8:9 and buys the field, the treasure, and the pearl. Margin: heaven Cmt. on Mt 3:2)

N1 to Mt. 16.19, p1022. “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Not the keys of the church, but of the kingdom of heaven in the sense of Mat 13., i.e. the sphere of Christian profession. A key is a badge of power or authority (cf) Isa 22:22; Re 3:7. The apostolic history explains and limits this trust, for it was Peter who opened the door of Christian opportunity to Israel on the day of Pentecost Ac 2:38-42 and to Gentiles in the house of Cornelius. Ac 10:34-46. There was no assumption by Peter of any other authority Ac 15:7-11. In the council James, not Peter, seems to have presided Ac 15:19; Ga 2:11-15. Peter claimed no more for himself than to be an apostle by gift 1Pe 1:1 and an elder by office 1Pe 5:1.
The power of binding and loosing was shared Mt 18:18; Joh 20:23 by the other disciples. That it did not involve the determination of the eternal destiny of souls is clear from Re 1:18. The keys of death and the place of departed spirits are held by Christ alone. Margin: kingdom Cmt. on Mt 3:2).”

Mt. 16.28-17.13. The transfiguration: a picture of the future kingdom (Mk. 9.2-13; Lk. 9.28-36).

N3 to Mt. 17.2, p1022 “And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.” (The transfiguration scene contains, in miniature, all the elements of the future kingdom in manifestation: (1) the Lord, not in humiliation, but in glory (v. 2). (2) Moses, glorified, representative of the redeemed who have passed through death into the kingdom. Mt 13:43; Lu 9:30-31. (3) Elijah, glorified, representative of the redeemed who have entered the kingdom by translation. 1Co 15:50-53; 1Th 4:14-17. (4) Peter, James, and John, not glorified, representatives (for the moment) of Israel in the flesh in the future kingdom Eze 37:21-27. (5) The multitude at the foot of the mountain Mt 17:2, representative of the nations who are to be brought into the kingdom after it is established over Israel Isa 11:10-12, etc.)

Mt. 18.21-35. The law of forgiveness. Mt. 18.23 “Matthew 18:23  Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.”

Mt. 19.14 “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

Mt. 19.27-28: “27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

N1&2 p1026 to Mt. 19.28. “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (N1 Disclosing how the promise Isa 1:26 will be fulfilled when the kingdom is set up. The kingdom will be administered over Israel through the apostles, according to the ancient theocratic judgeship. Jg 2:18. N2Disclosing how the promise (Isa 1:26) will be fulfilled when the kingdom is set up. The kingdom will be administered over Israel through the apostles, according to the ancient theocratic judgeship. (Jud. 2:18).)

Mt. 20.1-16 Parable of the labourers in the vineyard. Mt. 20.1 “For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.”

Mt. 20.1-16. Parable of the labourers in the vineyard.

Mt. 21.1-11 The King’s public offer of himself as King (Zech. 9.9; Mk. 11.1-10; Lk. 19.29-38). Mk. 11.10 “Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”

Mt. 21:31 “Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”

N1 p1029  to [Mt. 21 “43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”] “Note that Matthew here as in verse 31 uses the larger word, kingdom of God. (Cf. Mt.6.33, note.) The kingdom of heaven (Mt. 3.2, note 1 Cor. 14.24, summary) will yet be set up.  Meantime the kingdom of God and His righteousness is taken from Israel nationally and given to the Gentiles (Rom. 9.30-33).

Mt. 22.1-15; Lk. 14.16-24. Parable of the marriage feast. “Mt. 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,”

Mt. 23.13. “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

Mt. 24.27-31. The Olivet discourse: (5) the return of the King in glory (Mk. 13.24-37; Lk. 21.25-36).

N1 & 2 to Mt. 25.1[-13], p1035. The Olivet discourse: (6) The Lord’s return tests the real state of the kingdom in mystery. “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” (N1 This part of the Olivet discourse goes beyond the “sign” questions of the disciples Mt 24:3 and presents our Lord’s return in three aspects: (1) As testing profession, Mt 25:1-13 (2) as testing service, Mt 25:14-30; (3) as testing the Gentile nations, Mt 25:31-46. N2 The kingdom of heaven here is the sphere of profession, as in Mt. 13. All alike have lamps, but two facts fix the real status of the foolish virgins: They “took no oil,” and the Lord said, “I know you not.” Oil is the symbol of the Holy Spirit, and “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his” Ro 8:9. Nor could the Lord say to any believer, however unspiritual, “I know you not.” Margin: heaven Cmt. on Mt 3:2)

N2 p1035 to Mt. 25.1-30: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven by likened unto ten virgins….”  (The kingdom of heaven here is the sphere of profession, as in Mt. 12.)

Mt. 25.14-30. The Olivet discourse: (7) The Lord’s return tests the servants. “Mt. 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.”

Mk. 1:14-15 “Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Mk. 4.3-12. Parable of the sower. Explained in vv. 20.
Mk. 4:11 “And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:”
Mk. 4.26 “And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;”
Mk. 4.30 “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?” The parable of the mustard seed follows.
Mk.
Mk. 9.1
“And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.”
Mk. 9.47 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:”
Mk. 10.14-15 “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”
Mk. 10.23-25 “Mark 10:23-25  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
Mk. 12.34 “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.”
Mk. 14.25 “Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Mk. 15.43 “Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.”

Lk. 4:43 “And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.”

Lk. 6:20 “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 7:28 “For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Lk. 8:1 “And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,”

Lk. 8:10 “And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.”

Lk. 9:2 “And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”

Lk. 9:11 “And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.”

Lk. 9:27 “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 9:60 “Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 10:9 “And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
Lk. 10:11 “Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”

Lk. 11:2 “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”

Lk. 11:17 “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.”

Lk. 11:18 “If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.”

Lk. 11:20 “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”

Lk. 12:31 “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Lk. 12:32 “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

Lk. 13:18 “Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?”

Lk. 13:20-21 “And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.”

Lk. 13:28-29 “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 14:15 “And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God.”

Lk 16.16-17 “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.”

Lk. 17:20 “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:”

Lk. 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

N1 p1100 to Luke 17.20-21 The kingdom in its spiritual aspect:  “20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”(Gr. entos= “in the midst.” It could not be said of a self-righteous, Christ rejecting pharisee, that the kingdom of God, as to its spiritual content, was within him. Our Lord’s whole answer, designedly enigmatic to the Pharisees (cf) Mt 13:10-13 had a dispensational meaning. The kingdom in its outward form, as covenanted to David (2 Sam. 7.8-17 and described by the prophets (Zech. 12.8, note), had been rejected by the Jews; so that, during this present age, it would not “come with observation” (Lit. “outward show”) but in the hearts of men (cf. Lk. 19.11, 12; Acts 1.6-8, note; Rom. 14.17).  Meantime, the kingdom was actually “ in the midst” of the Pharisees in the persons of he King and his disciples.  Ultimately the kingdom of heaven wil  come, with outward show. (See v. 24)).

Lk. 18:16-17 “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.”

Lk. 18:24-25 “And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 18:29 “And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake,”

Lk. 19:11-12 “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”

Lk. 19:15 “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.”

Lk. 21:10 “Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:”

Lk. 21:31 “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

Lk. 22:16 “For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Lk. 22:18 “For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.”

Lu. 22.28-30 “Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

Lk. 23:42 “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

Lk. 23:51 “(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.”

N1 to Lu. 24.51, p1113 “And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” (The attitude of our Lord here characterizes this age. It is one of grace; an ascended Lord is blessing a believing people with spiritual blessings. The Jewish age was marked by temporal blessings as the reward of an obedient people. “>De 28:1-15. In the kingdom-age spiritual and temporal blessings unite.)

N3 to 1 Co. 15.24 p1226 “” (Kingdom (N.T.), Summary: See “Kingdom (O.T.)” Ge 1:26-28. Cmt. on Zec 12:8. Kingdom truth is developed in the N.T. in the following order: (1) The promise of the kingdom to David and his seed, and described in the prophets 2Sa 7:8-17; Zec 12:8 enters the N.T. absolutely unchanged. Lu 1:31-33. The King was born in Bethlehem Mt 2:1; Mic 5:2 of a virgin. Mt 1:18-25; Isa 7:14. (2) The kingdom announced as “at hand” Cmt. on Mt 4:17, by John the Baptist, by the King, and by the Twelve, was rejected by the Jews, first morally, Cmt. on Mt 11:20, and afterward officially Mt 21:42-43 and the King, crowned with thorns, was crucified. (3) In anticipation of His official rejection and crucifixion, the King revealed the “mysteries” of the kingdom of heaven, Cmt. on Mt 13:11 to be fulfilled in the interval between His rejection and His return in glory Mt 13:1-50. (4) Afterward He announced His purpose to “build” His church Mt 16:18 another “mystery” revealed through Paul which is being fulfilled contemporaneously with the mysteries of the kingdom. The “mysteries of the kingdom of heaven” and the “mystery” of the church Eph 3:9-11 occupy, historically, the same period, i.e, this present age. (5) The mysteries of the kingdom will be brought to an end by “the harvest” Mt 13:39-43,+1″>49-50 at the return of the King in glory, the church having previously been caught up to meet Him in the air 1Th 4:14-17. (6) Upon His return the King will restore the Davidic monarchy in His own person, re-gather dispersed Israel, establish His power over all the earth, and reign one thousand years Mt 24:27-30; Lu 1:31-33; Ac 15:14-17; Re 20:1-10. (7) The kingdom of heaven Cmt. on Mt 3:2 thus established under David’s divine Son, has for its object the restoration of the divine authority in the earth, which may be regarded as a revolted province of the great kingdom of God Cmt. on Mt 6:33. When this is done (1Co 14:24-25) the Son will deliver up the kingdom (of heaven), Mt 3:2 to “God, even the Father,” that “God” (i.e. the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) “may be all in all” (1Co 14:28). The eternal throne is that “of God, and of the Lamb” Re 22:1. The kingdom-age constitutes the seventh Dispensation, Cmt. on Eph 1:10. Margin: Then cometh Then, finally, when he delivers up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he has done away with every rule, and every authority and power (for he must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet), the last enemy, death, is destroyed.)

N3 to Eph. 1.10,  p. 1250 “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” This, the seventh and last of the ordered ages which condition human life on the earth, is identical with the kingdom covenanted to David (2 Sam. 7.8-17; Zech. 12.8, summary; Lk. 1.31-33; 1 Cor. 15.24, Summary), and gathers into itself under Christ all past “times”: (1) The time of oppression and misrule ends by Christ taking His kingdom (Isa. 11.3, 4). (2) The time of testimony and divine forbearance ends in judgment (Mt. 25.31-46; Acts 17.30, 31; Rev. 20.7-15). (3) The time of toil ends in rest and reward (2 Thes. 1.6, 7). (4) The time of suffering ends in glory (Rom. 8.17, 18). (5) The time of Israel’s blindness and chastisement ends in restoration and conversion (Rom. 11.25-27; Ezk. 39.25-29). (6) The times of the Gentiles end in the smiting of the image and the setting up of the kingdom of the heavens (Dan. 2.34, 35; Rev. 19.15-21). (7) The time of creation’s thralldom ends in deliverance at the manifestation of the sons of God (Gen. 3.17; Isa. 11.6-8; Rom. 8.19-21).

N3 p1349 (The duration of the kingdom of heaven in its mediatorial form (1 Cor. 15.24, note.)

Kingdom of God

        N1 p. 1003 to Mt. 6.33 “33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” [The kingdom of God is to be distinguished from the kingdom of heaven Cmt. on Mt 3:2, in five respects: (1) The kingdom of God is universal, including all moral intelligences willingly subject to the will of God, whether angels, the Church, or saints of past or future dispensations Lu 13:28-29; Heb 12:22-23 while the kingdom of heaven is Messianic, mediatorial, and Davidic, and has for its object the establishment of the kingdom of God in the earth Cmt. on Mt 3:2 1Co 15:24-25. (2) The kingdom of God is entered only by the new birth Joh 3:3,5-7 the kingdom of heaven, during this age, is the sphere of a profession which may be real or false. Cmt. on Mt 13:3 Mt 25:1,11-12. (3) Since the kingdom of heaven is the earthly sphere of the universal kingdom of God, the two have almost all things in common. For this reason many parables and other teachings are spoken of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew, and of the kingdom of God in Mark and Luke. It is the omissions which are significant. The parables of the wheat and tares, and of the net Mt 13:24-30,36-43,47-50 are not spoken of the kingdom of God. In that kingdom there are neither tares nor bad fish. But the parable of the leaven Mt 13:33 is spoken of the kingdom of God also, for, alas, even the true doctrines of the kingdom are leavened with the errors of which the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Herodians were the representatives. Cmt. on Mt 13:33. (4) The kingdom of God “comes not with outward show” Lu 17:20 but is chiefly that which is inward and spiritual Ro 14:17 while the kingdom of heaven is organic, and is to be manifested in glory on the earth. (See “Kingdom (O.T.),” Zech 12.8, note; (N.T.), Lu 1.31-33 1co 15.24, note; Mt 17.2, note.) Cmt. on Zec 12:8, Lu 1:31-33 Cmt. on 1Co 15:24 Cmt. on Mt 17:2 (5) The kingdom of heaven merges into the kingdom of God when Christ, having put all enemies under his feet, “shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father” 1Co 15:24-28 Cmt. on Mt 3:2]

N1, p1017 to [Mt.. 13 “43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”] “The kingdom does not become the kingdom of the ‘Father” until Christ, having “put all enemies under His feet,’ including the last enemy, death, has ‘delivered up the kingdom to God, even to the Father’ (1 Cor. 15.24-28; Rev. 20.2). There is triumph over the death at the first resurrection (1 Cor. 15.54, 55), but death, ‘the last enemy,’ is not destroyed till the end of the millennium (Rev. 20.14).”

N1 p1029  to [Mt. 21 “43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.”] “Note that Matthew here as in verse 31 uses the larger word, kingdom of God. (Cf. Mt.6.33, note.) The kingdom of heaven (Mt. 3.2, note 1 Cor. 14.24, summary) will yet be set up.  Meantime the kingdom of God and His righteousness is taken from Israel nationally and given to the Gentiles (Rom. 9.30-33).

Mk. 10.14-15 “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.”

Mk. 10.17 “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Mk. 10.23-25 “And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Mr. 10.29-31 “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.”

N1 p1100 to [Lk. 17.21. Lk 17 “20b “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or lo there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”] “Gr. Entos = ‘in the midst.’ It could not be said of a self-righteous, Christ rejecting Pharisee, that the kingdom of God, as to its spiritual content, was within him.  Our Lord’s whole answer, designedly enigmatic to the Pharisees (cf. Mt. 13.10-13), has a dispensational meaning.  The kingdom in its outward form, as covenanted to David (2 Sam. 7.8-17) and described by the prophets (Zech. 12.8, note), had been rejected by the Jews; so that, during this present age, it would not “come with observation” (lit. ‘outward show’) but in the hearts of men (cf. Lk. 19.11, 12; Acts 1.6-8, note; Rom. 14.17). Meantime, the kingdom was actually ‘in the midst’ of the Pharisees in the persons of the King and His Disciples. Ultimately the kingdom of heaven will come, with outward show. (See v. 24.)”

Ac.. 14.21-22 “And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,  Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

1 Co. 6:9-12 “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

N3 p1226 [to 1 Cor. 15 “24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” “Kingdom (N.T.) summary: See ‘Kingdom (O.T.)” (Gen.  1.26.28; Zech. 12.8, note). Kingdom truth is developed in the N.T. in the following order: (1) The promise of the kingdom to David and his seed, and described in the prophets (2 Sam. 7.8-17, refs.; Zech. 12.8), enters the N.T. absolutely unchanged (Lk. 1.31-33). The King was born in Bethlehem (Mt. 2.1, Mic. 5.2), of a virgin (Mt. 1.18-25; Isa. 7.14). (2) The kingdom announced as ‘at hand’ (Mt. 4.17, note) by John the Baptist, but the King, and by the Twelve, was rejected by the Jews, first morally (Mt. 11.20, note), and afterward officially (Mt. 21.42, 43), and the King, crowned with thorns, was crucified. (3) In anticipation of His official rejection and crucifixion, the King was crucified. (3) In anticipation of His official rejection and crucifixion, the King revealed the ‘mysteries’ of the kingdom of heaven (Mt. 13.11, note) to be fulfilled in the interval between His rejection and His return in glory (Mt. 13.1-50). (4) Afterward He announced His purpose to ‘build’ His church (Mt. 16.18, refs.), another ‘mystery’ revealed through Paul which is being fulfilled contemporaneously with the mysteries of the kingdom. The ‘mysteries of the kingdom of heaven’ and the ‘mystery’ of the church (Eph.3.9-11) occupy, historically, the same period, i.e. this present age. (5) The mysteries of the kingdom will be brought to an end by the ‘harvest’ (Mt. 13.39-43, 49, 50) at the return of the King in glory, the church having previously been caught up to meet Him in the air (1 Thes. 4.14-17). (6) Upon His return the King will restore the Davidic monarchy in His own person, re-gather dispersed Israel, establish His power over all the earth, and reign one thousand years (Mt. 24.27-30; Lk. 1.31-33; Acts 15.14-17; Rev. 20.1-10). (7) The kingdom of heaven (Mt. 3.2, note), thus established under David’s divine Son, has for its object the restoration of the divine authority in the earth, which may be regarded as a revolted province of the great kingdom of God (Mt. 6.33, note). When this is done (vs. 24, 25) the Son will deliver up the kingdom (of heaven, Mt. 3.2) to ‘God, even the Father,’ that ‘God’ (i.e. the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) ‘may be all in all’ (v. 28). The eternal throne is that ‘of God, and of the Lamb’ (Rev. 22.1). The  kingdom-age constitutes the seventh Dispensation (Eph. 1.10, note).

N1 to Re. 14.6, p1343 “Revelation 14:6  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,”
“Gospel. This great theme may be summarized as follows:
“I. In itself the word Gospel means good news.
“II. Four forms of the Gospel are to be distinguished”
“(1)               The Gospel of the kingdom. This is the good news that God purposes to set up on the earth, in fulfilment of the Davidic Covenant 2Sa 7:16 a kingdom, political, spiritual, Israelitish, universal, over which God’s Son, David’s heir, shall be King, and which shall be, for one thousand years, the manifestation of the righteousness of God in human affairs. Cmt. on Mt 3:2. Two preachings of this Gospel are mentioned, one past, beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist, continued by our Lord and His disciples, and ending with the Jewis rejection of the King. The other is yet future Mt 24:14 during the great tribulation, and immediately preceding the coming of the King in glory.
“(2) The Gospel of the grace of God. This is the good news that Jesus Christ, the rejected King, has died on the cross for the sins of the world, that He was raised from the dead for our justification, and that by Him all that believe are justified from all things. This form of the Gospel is described in many ways. It is the Gospel “of God” Ro 1:1 because it originates in His love; “of Christ” 2Co 10:14 because it flows from His sacrifice, and because He is the alone Object of Gospel faith; of the “grace of God” Ac 20:24 because it saves those whom the law curses; of “the glory” 1Ti 1:11; 2Co 4:4 because it concerns Him who is in the glory, and who is bringing the many sons to glory Heb 2:10 of “our salvation” Eph 1:13 because it is the “power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” Ro 1:16 of “the uncircumcision” Ga 2:7 because it saves wholly apart from forms and ordinances of “peace” Eph 6:15 because through Christ it makes peace between the sinner and God, and imparts inward peace.
“(3) The everlasting Gospel Re 14:6. This is to be preached to the earth-dwellers at the very end of the great tribulation and immediately preceding the judgment of the nations Mt 15:31. It is neither the Gospel of the kingdom, nor of grace. Though its burden is judgment, not salvation, it is good news to Israel and to those who, during the tribulation, have been saved Re 7:9-14; Lu 21:28; Ps 96:11-13; Isa 35:4-10.
“(4) That which Paul calls, “my Gospel” Ro 2:16. This is the Gospel of the grace of God in its fullest development, but includes the revelation of the result of that Gospel in the outcalling of the church, her relationships, position, privileges, and responsibility. It is the distinctive truth of Ephesians and Colossians, but interpenetrates all of Paul’s writings.
“III. There is “another Gospel” Ga 1:6; 2Co 11:4 “which is not another,” but a perversion of the Gospel of the grace of God, against which we are warned. It has many seductive forms, but the test is one–it invariably denies the sufficiency of grace alone to save, keep, and perfect, and mingles with grace some kind of human merit. In Galatia it was law, in Colosse fanaticism Col 2:18, etc. In any form its teachers lie under the awful anathema of God. Margin: angel Cmt. on Heb 1:4.”


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