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The mighty messages and powerful prophecies of the prophets concerning the final restoration of Israel to her national and religious supremacy under the Messiah (the Christ) have been transferred to the New Testament unchanged.
When looking at the New Testament we should discard every theological approach and assumption especially the idea that the church is the true Israel and that the future expectation of the Old Testament concerning the kingdom, has been fulfilled within the church. This outlook has been inherited from Roman Catholicism and post-Apostolic theology.
Therefore we cannot accept interpretations of the Bible unconditionally just because they are generally proclaimed. Utterly, discard the idea that the “throne of David” - (Luke 1:32) is synonymous to “My Father’s Throne” - (Rev. 3:21) and the assumption that “the house of Jacob” - (Luke 1:33) is the church (congregation), consisting of both Israelite and heathen.
The Kingship of Jesus Christ is outlined in the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:8-16, Ezekiel 37:22-28 and a number of other relevant Scriptures) furthermore interpreted by the prophets, and confirmed in the New Testament. The latter by no means rejects or changes the Davidic Covenant in any way, or the interpretation thereof by the prophets.
On the contrary, the New Testament gives further details, which have not been portrayed in the vision of the prophets. E.g. the “Sermon on the Mount” of Matthew 5 is an expansion on the subject of righteousness, which is a significant characteristic of the Messianic Kingdom - (Isaiah 11:2-5, Jeremiah 23:5-6; Jeremiah 33:14-16).
The prophets of the Old Testament were baffled by the idea that they could see both the suffering and the glorification of the Messiah on the same horizon - (1 Peter 1:10-11). However, the New Testament explains this to us by revealing the fact that these two aspects of the Messiah can be separated by the present church dispensation, and points us to the return of the Christ (the Messiah) to fulfil the Davidic Covenant and blessings in power and majesty - (Luke 1:30-33, Acts 2:29-36; 15:14-17), just the way He has fulfilled all the prophecies concerning his suffering, with his first coming.
Compare Acts 3:22-25, Galatians 3:13; Gal. 4:4-6.
Jesus is never referred to as King of the church. Indeed “The King” is one of the divine titles, and the church joins Israel in worship and adoration of the King of the Ages, the imperishable, invisible, omniscient, only wise God - (Psalm 10:16; 1 Timothy 1:17). The true congregation, which is the Body of Christ, is destined to rule with Him.
The Holy Spirit is calling out, not so much the servants, as the heirs and joint heirs of this kingdom -
(Romans 8:15-18; 1 Corinthians 6:2-3; Philippians 3:8-14; Hebrews 11:35; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; Revelation 1:5-6; Rev. 3:21; Rev. 5:9-10; Rev. 20:4-6).
The true servants will see the light, in the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:4-7) when a nation will be born in one day (Isaiah 66:8) - the Day of Jacob’s Trouble. (Psalm 50:14-15; Psalm 91; Ezekiel 30:3; Ezekiel 34:12; Romans 11:25-29).
The subject and intent of this book is indicated in the very first verse. The Book of Matthew is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). This unites Him immediately with two of the most important Covenants of the Old Testament. The Davidic Covenant of Kingship and the Abrahamic Covenant of Promise - (2 Samuel 7:8-16; Genesis 15:5-6, 18; Gen. 17:1-4, 6, 8, 9-21; Gen. 22:8,13-18). Matthew thus writes about Jesus Christ in this dual revelation which comes to the fore very clearly in this book.
As indicated in the first verse, he writes about the King, the Son of David, and secondly of the Son of Abraham, who is represented by Isaac, as being obedient unto death (Genesis 22:1-18; Hebrews 11:17-19).
The most outstanding attribute of Christ in Matthew is that of Covenant King, “The Righteous Branch of David” - (Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 33:15). Matthew gives us Jesus genealogy, his birth in Bethlehem the City of David, according to Micah 5:2, the ministry of his forerunner according to Malachi 3:1, the ministry of the King himself, his rejection by the Judah section of Israel under leadership of the Esau section in their midst - - - - - -
(Compare: Matthew 13:38; Matthew 23:33; Luke 11:49-51; John 8:44, 47; John 10:26; Acts 13:10; 1 John 3:12),
- - - - - and his prophecies concerning his Second Coming in great power and majesty.
The book of Matthew is therefore pre-eminently the Gospel of Israel.
Matthew can be divided into three sections:
1. The revelation to a section (the official section) of Israel, viz: the House of Judah, and the rejection of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, -
from Matthew 1:1-25 up to Matthew 25:46.
The subdivisions of this portion are:
1) The official genealogy and birth of the King - Matthew 1:1-25;
2) The unknown childhood years of the King - Matthew 2:1-23;
3) The kingdom of heaven is at hand –
from Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 12:50;
4) The mysteries of the kingdom – Matthew 13:1-52;
5) The Ministry of the rejected King –
from Matthew 13:53 to Matthew 23:39;
6) The promise of the King to return in power and majesty –
from Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46.
11. The death of atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of Abraham – from Matthew 26:1 to Matthew 28:8.
111. The risen LORD’S Ministry to his own – Matthew 28:9-20.
Read Matthew 1:21;
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
There is but one nation in the world and in all history who is called the people of God in Scripture, and that is Israel.
In Exodus 3:6-7 we read:
6 Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.
7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their task masters; for I know their sorrows.
Read also verses 8, 10, 13, 15, 16, 18;
Exodus 4:5; Ex. 5:3; Ex. 6:6-8; Ex. 15:16; Ex. 19:5-6.
Compare 1 Peter 2:9-10 with:
Hosea 1:9-11, Hosea 2:16-23; Deut. 4:5-8; Deut. 4:20,33-37; Deut. 7:6-8; Isaiah 43:14-15, 20-21, 25; Isaiah 44:1-2, 6, 8, 21-23; Isaiah 45:4,11,17,25; Isaiah 46:3-4.
See also Isaiah chapters 48 to 66, Romans 11:25-29.
Together with these Scriptures we must also read Isaiah 9:6-7; Deut. 30:1-6; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 37; Luke 1:31-33, 54-55, 67-79; Luke 2:25, 30-32; Hebrews 8:8-12.
These Scriptures clearly reveal the importance of Israel’s deliverance from sin before the rest of the world can receive the light. The proclaiming of the Gospel must go hand in hand with an authoritarian state consisting of a truly repentant Israel with Jesus Christ (the Messiah) on the throne of his father David.
(Read and interpret Rev. 3:21 again).
It is while the true Christendom has come before her greatest threat of all times, and where law and order and righteousness are on the verge of disappearing from the earth, that this truth must be brought to prominence in the world.
Read Matthew 2:6;
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda; for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people, Israel.
The Chief Priests answered Herod’s enquiring and quoted Micah 5:2.
Again this Scripture points to the fact that Jesus Christ came according to the prophets to be a leader and a shepherd to Israel. Therefore, if we truly want to preach Christ, we cannot only ignore this aspect concerning Him, but we must also proclaim Him as such, the way the prophets did. If we bypass this very important aspect of God’s plan we will completely distort the Gospel. That is what is happening in the preaching of God’s Word in these days. It is a tragedy that so few hear this truth and that the majority are blind to the truth and unprepared for the climax of the ages that is at hand.
Read Matthew 3:2;
And saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
That is how John the Baptist started his ministry.
This theme of the restoration of the Kingdom of God on earth is the message of John the Baptist, of Jesus and of his apostles. This kingdom which was entrusted to Adam when God said:
“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon earth” - (Gen. 1:28), which Satan stole from him.
This KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS points to the Messianic Reign of Jesus Christ, the Son of David. This is the same kingdom of which Jesus taught his disciples in Matthew 6:10 to pray for: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”.
This term comes from the Prophet Daniel where it is described as the kingdom which “the God of heaven” will establish after the destruction of the heathen (Babylonian) world system by a stone cut out without hands - (Daniel 2:34-36, 44; Daniel 7:23-27).
It is the kingdom which was promised, by oath, to David and his descendants - (2 Samuel 7:7-10), as described to us by the prophets, e.g. Zechariah 12:8.
(Please listen to our series of messages over the Passover weekend of 1979); and that which Gabriel the angel confirmed to Jesus Christ through his words to Mary in Luke 1:32-33.
The KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS has three aspects in Matthew:
(a) For the kingdom of heaven is at hand from the ministry of John the Baptist - (Matthew 3:2) right through to the rejection of the King - (Matthew 11:22-30) and the announcement of the new brotherhood - (Matthew 12:46-50);
(b) The seven mysteries of the KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS; which would be fulfilled in this present dispensation, (Matthew 13:1-52), and to which must also be added the parables of the KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS which were spoken after those of Matthew 13;
(c) The prophetic aspect of the kingdom which will be established after the return of the King in majesty - (from Matthew 24:29 to Matthew 25:46; Luke 19:12-19; Acts 15:14-17).
Also read the following verses, which refer to the same theme:
Matthew 4:17, 23; Matthew 5:1, 3, 10, 17-20.
(In verse 1 the mount upon which Jesus climbed is a type of the KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS; Compare Isaiah 2:1-5; Isaiah 11:1-12; Micah 4:1-8).
After He announced that the KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS has drawn near, the King now states in Matthew chapters 5 to 7 the principles of the kingdom. The parable on the mount has a twofold application.
1) Literally on the Kingdom itself:
In this instance it is the proclamation of the Divine Constitution for a just administration of this earth. When this KINGDOM OF THE HEAVENS is finally established on the earth, it will be according to this constitution, which will be understood as an exposition and explanation of the term “righteousness”, as used by the prophets in their description of the kingdom (e.g. Isaiah 11:4-5; Isaiah 32:1; Daniel 9:24).
This is the reason why the Jews rejected the kingdom. They did not seek after “righteousness”; instead they sought after outward appearance and power. They were never rebuked for expecting a visible and powerful kingdom. However the prophets must have prepared them to expect that the poor in spirit and the meek would have a place in it (e.g. Isaiah 11:4). Psalm 72, which is generally accepted by them as a description of the kingdom, is full of this truth.
2) Spiritual interpretation:
Nevertheless there is also a pure and exalted application to the Christian. It will always generally remain true that the poor in spirit and not the proud and haughty will be blessed; that those who mourn over their sins, and are fully aware of their shortcomings, and in meekness, hunger and thirst after righteousness, shall be filled. The merciful will obtain mercy and the pure in heart shall see God. These principles are very clearly stipulated in the epistles.
Read the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and take special note of verse 10: “Thy kingdom come”; and verse 13: “For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever”.
Here our Lord Jesus himself teaches us to pray for this kingdom which is the very same kingdom that Gabriel spoke of in his message to Mary when he announced the birth of Jesus Christ - (Luke 1:31-33).
Read Matthew 6:33;
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
In Matthew 6:25-32, we have the heathen world with its motto of profit in contrast to the kingdom of God with its emphasis on service.
Also read Luke 22:24-30; John 18:36-37; Deut. 4:5-8.
Just as in chapter 3:2 the kingdom of God in this portion is also the ‘Messianic Kingdom’ of our Lord Jesus Christ on the throne of his father David with its main goal, the restoration of God’s Government on earth.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:24-25 and our commentary there upon when we get to it. The basis of this kingdom already exists here on earth within the Israel people, but has to be cleansed from all bad elements. It will happen with the return of Christ, as we shall see further on. This cleansing will be visible and shall take place with great power and glory. After Christ has reigned over this kingdom on earth for a thousand years, and has destroyed every root of sin and imperfection, of which the last enemy is death, Christ will hand over the kingdom to the Father so that God can be all and in all.
(Compare 1 Corinthians 15:24-28).
Read Matthew 8:11-12;
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and the west and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
We see here very clearly that the kingdom of heaven does not basically consist of the saved, because no one who is truly born again can be driven out of the kingdom. We can also see that the kingdom means Israel because the names of the three patriarchs of Israel, viz: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are mentioned here.
As we shall see further on, there are many tares in the kingdom, which need to be taken out before the Second Coming of Christ who is coming to sit on the throne of his father David and to rule over Israel upon this earth. Eventually only born-again believers will be citizens of that kingdom. According to the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus in John 3:3-5 and 7, this is very clear. In this kingdom there will also be those of other nations, who are of Jesus’ sheep, and who have become born again; they would have acquired an incorruptible and immortal body - (1 Cor. 15:51-53; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
Just so we can see that there are many in the kingdom who should not be there and with the Second Coming of Christ will be cast out into outer darkness, away from the presence of the LORD. Only those who did the will of God shall remain in his kingdom - (compare Matthew 7:21-22).
Read Matthew 9:35;
And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
Here we see again how Jesus went about and preached the gospel of the kingdom. It is still the same kingdom of which the Bible has spoken from the beginning. This kingdom is inseparable from the Nation of Israel and from the literal throne of David. Here we also see that the healing of the sick accompanied the preaching of the kingdom. The explanation of this is very clear. When the kingdom is restored in its fulness, there will be no sickness, because sickness is part of the fall.
In Isaiah 33:24 we read:
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
Also read Isaiah 33:22, 5-6, 15-17, 20-22 and Isaiah 32:1, 14-18.
After her exodus out of Egypt God said to Israel:
“- - - -If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the LORD that healeth thee - Exodus 15:26.
Compare also Exodus 23:25-26; Deut. 7:11-15.
Israel sinned and did not keep these commandments and statutes. They suffered the sicknesses and other curses.
In Isaiah 53 we read of the atonement of Jesus on the cross for them.
Read especially Isaiah 53:8:
“- - - - - - - for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
Who is this “my people?”
There is only one “people” whom God calls his people throughout the Bible, and it is Israel. It was also this people who transgressed God’s law, because it was given to Israel only. Therefore the words “unrighteousness” and “transgression” in Isaiah 53:5-6 are applicable to Israel, specifically.
It is also very apparent in the case of the Canaanite woman who came to Jesus to ask him to heal her daughter who was vexed with a demon.
Read Matthew 15:21-28.
Jesus said to her:
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” – verse 24; “When she fell to her knees and begged him for help, he said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and cast it to dogs” - verse 26.
This bread was Israel’s healing that Jesus had wrought for them by his wounds.
Read Isaiah 53:4-5 along with Matthew 8:16-17.
This glorious truth exists to this day unchanged, but today, just as then, with the Canaanite woman, the heathen often show more faith than Israel as such, (see Matthew 15:28) and receive from Him that which was meant for Israel in the first place.
The Canaanite also brought up a great truth that day, a truth with far reaching implications, which is more significant even today than ever before, when she said:
“- - - Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master’s table” - (Matthew 15:27).
It has been and always will be God’s intention that Israel should be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, and that through them the other nations would also be blessed.
Read about the Millennium on earth in Isaiah 2:2-5; Zech. 14:16-21 and Rev. 21:26.
Even today, in spite of Israel’s blindness the nations of the world enjoy their existence and measure of prosperity because of Israel. If it had not been for the White Protestant Nations of the West (Israel of today), see our book: “The Lost Ten Tribes of Israel”, a great number of nations of the world would either have been extinct by now as a result of famine, or in a very primitive state.
If we ever want to bring a true message to the world in this critical time of its existence, this truth with all its implications will have to be brought in the power of the Holy Spirit.
In Matthew 10 we see how Jesus chose his twelve apostles and gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out and to heal every sickness and disease - (verse 1).
But what did He specifically command them to do?
5 “- - - - Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Notice how Israel, the kingdom, and healing go hand in hand in this command.
Compare it with Matthew 15:24; Ezekiel 34:1-31; Luke 19:9-10.
Also read Matthew 10:23 as part of the commission of verses 5-8.
There is such a backlog in the preaching of this truth that we won’t even reach the whole of Israel by the time of the Second Coming of Christ.
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