WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES

 
 
TUESDAY TEACHINGS
 
 

 

A REVELATION OF....... 3 KINGDOM AGES OF GOD - Part 1

The progressive revelation of God's kingdom through the Ages - and of the one to come.

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Very often we get trapped, by taking for granted what we superficially see. So it was for me with the Bible. I saw the Old Testament and the New. "Well, that must be it," I thought. The Old Covenant followed by the New. It's simple, it's obvious, but it doesn't fit in with God's pattern, as I understand it.

For those who have read other of my writings will know that God works in threes. As He manifests Himself in three ways, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, (exactly how depends on whether you are a Oneness, Two-ness or Trinitarian believer!) so He normally operates in patterns of three in His dealings with us, His people. Therefore I have always had a difficulty accepting the two Testaments as reflecting God's pattern as such.

One day however, the Lord showed me that the Old Testament is not really a single entity, but can be split into two at an unexpected but logical place, as we will see shortly.

Today, as I was reading the Word, He started to show me many patterns reflecting the development of His kingdom through these three stages of His Word. It is helping me understand the whole in a way that I have not appreciated previously.

So let's embark on a journey together and see what we can find out about what God has done, what He is doing, and what He will do in the future. Each step forms a logical progression in His plan that has been in existence from before time began.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

DEFINITION OF TERMS (For Serious Students)

COVENANT

LAW

LAW
I. In the Old Testament
II. In the New Testament

GRACE

GRACE, MEANS OF

KINGDOM OF GOD

KINGDOM OF GOD, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
I. In John the Baptist
II. In the teaching of Jesus
III. Kingdom and church
IV. In the rest of the New Testament
V. In theological thought

 

The full background to this teaching is available online at this link
<b>DEFINITION OF TERMS</b> (For Serious Students)

 

 

Online links to scriptures (New International Version [NIV] unless otherwise stated) are shown in blue

 

THE GAPS

 

 

FIRST GAP

 

Most of us know of the approximate 400-year gap between the Old and the New Testaments between c.432-5 BC.

Prior to the 'gap' the Babylonians had destroyed Israel as a nation. From then on, Israel was a minor territory in a succession of empires. The Persians followed the Babylonians. But the most significant influence was the expansion of the Greek Empire under Alexander the Great, who annexed Palestine in 332 BC. Greek influence remained, in various forms, until General Pompey subdued the East for Rome, taking Jerusalem in 63 BC after a 3-month siege of the Temple area. His army killed priests as they were performing their duties, and entered the Holy of Holies, an act the Jews could neither forgive nor forget.

This Greek and then Roman influence set the scene, preparing the way for the ministry of Jesus. The Greeks developed science to a more sophisticated level and with it, the powerful force of humanism we see so much in evidence today. The Romans built the world's first extensive communications network through a magnificent roading system that enabled the message of Jesus to be taken to the known world of the time.

So this 'gap' of 400 years played a vital role in preparing the way for, and identifying the change between, the second and third 'kingdoms'.

However, not so well known, is the fact that this was not the first big gap in recorded Bible history.
 

 

SECOND GAP (First actually - in time!)

 

The first 400 year gap starts at the end of Genesis with the death of Joseph in Egypt and covers the period until the ministry of Moses as recorded in the book of Exodus.  

 

Exodus 12:40

 

 

As with the period between the Testaments, this certainly wasn't a time when things stood still. It too was a preparation time for the next step in God's plan. Without it, the events that took place from the Exodus onwards would not have been possible.

For the Patriarchs were a nomadic people without a written language. History was passed on from generation to generation solely by word of mouth. Hence why a period covering 1000's of years is recorded in just the one book of 50 chapters, the book of Genesis.

During this 'gap' their population increased dramatically from 70 to maybe 4 million in just 400 years. How was this possible? As we will see later, there was a change in the definition of the family. But too, the people learned the principles of sustainable, settled, intensive agriculture from the Egyptians. So they could now feed, clothe and house a far greater number of people. As well as being introduced to a written language, they also learned the social and organisational skills that enabled them to undertake the exodus.

While we tend to look negatively upon the period of captivity, a major purpose behind it was to set up the Israelites for the next stage of their development in the fulfilment of God's plan. God continues to do that with us today. He puts us through unusual and difficult circumstances in order to prepare and equip us for what is to come.

So now we have laid the 'time' foundation upon which the 'Three Kingdoms of God' can be built.
 

 

THE THREE KINGDOM AGES OF GOD

 

The more usual '2 kingdom' approach of 'Law' to 'Grace' suffers a considerable problem. For the Law was not set out in detail until the time of the exodus from Egypt. There was no formal law as such during the nomadic period of the patriarchs although the people understood many of the principles upon which the Law was based. It would not have been possible for the Patriarchs to record it, for they had no written language. So it is clear that there was a pre-law period or 'kingdom age'. During this time God related to His people in a different than from when the time the Law was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

Once we understand this, recognising too that God works in threes, the Bible and God's plan for His people throughout all the ages becomes clear. It is this plan that we are going to investigate here.
 

 

1. CREATION, TO & THROUGH THE PATRIARCHS (Beginning of time - c.1800 BC) Genesis.

 

Genesis can be a bit of a mystery to many of us. We would love more information. But we need to appreciate that Adam, Noah, Abraham and all, did not have laptop computers in their tents to record events in detail, as they went about their nomadic wanderings to find new feed sources for their herds. All history had to be passed down from generation to generation verbally, being retained in the mind. It is fortunate I was not one of them, or Genesis would have been very short indeed!

Because of these limitations, God too restricted what He revealed about Himself to the memory capacity of the people. Therefore we only have a very brief overview of these incredible times that provided the foundation for the world in which we now live.

As we proceed, I trust you will get a better understanding and appreciation of the life and times of our Patriarchs. For it is through them that we receive our spiritual inheritance.
 

 

2. MOSES, TO & THROUGH THE PROPHETS (c1500 BC - 432 BC) Exodus to Malachi.

 

Now we move into a time period about which much more is known. It has been recorded in greater detail through the written language developed during the Jews stay in Egypt. Additionally, archaeology and other recorded historical sources give us a greater understanding of the life and times of the people from Moses to Nehemiah. No need for great memory here!

God too, as society developed, revealed more of Himself. For Moses and others, could now write His revelations and instructions down. Fortunately, not all had to be written on stone tablets!

Seeing how this 'kingdom age' developed from that of the Patriarchs increases our understanding and appreciation of God's plan for us today.
 

 

3. JESUS' BIRTH UNTIL HIS RETURN (c.5 BC - ?) Matthew to Revelation

 

This is the kingdom age we are most familiar with, as it's the one we are living in right now. We are hugely blessed to have the example of Jesus, the record of the New Testament and the personal guidance of the Holy Spirit, to reveal layers of meaning to us. We also have historical records, expositions and interpretations galore to help us in our understanding of the kingdom of God.

Having communication channels that started with the Roman roads, then the printing press and today, with our plethora of communication media, we are well able to take the message of Jesus to the world.

Through understanding this progression through the three ages, and with the increasing revelations of God Himself, we gain an increased appreciation of how blessed we are to live in this third kingdom age.
 

 

THE PROMISED KINGDOM TO COME

 

The return of Jesus and the establishment of His final kingdom, is the time every truly convicted Christian eagerly looks forward to. We get but a small inkling of its glory throughout the Bible, but particularly in its final 17 chapters. Just to whet our appetite!

So let's look forward then with eager anticipation to the discoveries we are about to make about the progressive revelation of God and His purposes throughout the three kingdom ages.
 

 

METHOD OF STUDY

 

We are going to take twelve themes from Scripture and trace their development, step by step through the three kingdom ages.

As we proceed we will build a Summary Table, listing each theme with a brief description of its progressive revelation through the three stages.
 

 

___________THE THREE KINGDOM AGES__________

THEME______PATRIARCHS____PROPHETS_____PEOPLE___
_______________Creation_____c.1500BC______c.5BC___
_______________c.1800BC_____c.432BC___Jesus Return
SOCIETY

REACHING

SALVATION

The first theme we will consider is how society was organised during each of the three ages.

Then we'll take a look at the people to whom each age related.

This will be followed by a consideration of the means of salvation, of how a relationship with God was to be obtained, within each age. And so on.

By the time we get to the end of the study we should both understand a lot more about God's plan for your life and mine. I'm looking forward to it very much! You too?

 

<i>NEXT WEEK</i> A REVELATION OF....... 3 KINGDOM AGES SOCIETIES OF THE KINGDOM AGES (1st of 2)

 

Understanding the organisation of society throughout the various kingdom ages also helps us better understand how God worked as He did with the Patriarchs, Israel and now, us!

This is truly fascinating to me - and I hope to you also!
 

 

A NOTE FROM DAVID

 

This series will help you both understand the development of the Bible and God's principles a lot better. It has certainly helped me, as the Lord took me through it, step by step, as I wrote it.

Nothing is by chance in God! Everything is planned and foretold prophetically, or in type and pattern, before it occurs.

What an amazing God we have!

ANCIENT OLIVE PRESS

This sketch looks similar to a first century olive press discovered at the ruins of ancient Capernaum in Israel. In ancient times September was not only time to prepare for the New Year, but it was also time for harvesting olives. It lasted through November. Near the orchards there was usually an olive press, as sketched in the image above.

Source: http://www.bible-history.com
 

 

So until next week.......
MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD!

His servant and yours

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Previous parts of this Series (When applicable) are available to be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

 

A DAVID'S DOODLING

27. Our most dearly held beliefs often inhibit God’s further revelation to us.

David Tait         

 

 

 

Earlier Series of "Tuesday Teachings" can be read at:
www.wwj.org.nz/tuesday-teachings

 

 

Check out the WWJ website for….

More David's Doodlings: www.wwj.org.nz/dd.php
A look at some of lifes curious questions: http://www.wwj.org.nz/why.php
Everything you ever wanted to know about....: http://www.wwj.org.nz/exex.php
Life's a Laugh: http://www.wwj.org.nz/lifelaugh.php
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