Seeking Jesus First - June 16, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - June 16, 2023
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

The Kingdom of God - Part One

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth…

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” (Matthew 28:18–20, NKJV)

When Jesus said this, a new age had begun. This was a sea change in heaven and in earth. Jesus took back what Adam had lost, saved the world, made a new covenant with His blood, died and rose from the dead and ascended to heaven in total victory. Father God rewarded Christ Jesus by giving Him the highest name, putting all things under His feet and giving Him all authority in heaven and earth.

This was the beginning of the age of Jesus Christ on the throne of heaven and earth. Jesus is king and judge of the heaven and the earth.

In the 1800’s, the concept of “dispensation” started being used instead of “age”. The word “age” was mainly being translated as “world” (in the KJV) which caused confusion about that term. The confusion has been cleared up thanks to all of the readily available study helps and the many different translations of Scriptures.

For instance, compare this verse between the KJV and the NKJV:

  • And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32, KJV) “Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Matthew 12:32, NKJV)
  • The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” (Matthew 13:39, KJV) “The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.” (Matthew 13:39, NKJV)

Can you guess the confusion we had fifty years ago? Anyone without a theology degree or at least way to look up original language text and compare would never see the difference between “world” and “age”.

Look how the confusion continues even in the current NKJV by comparing it to the Young’s Literal Translation.

  • God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:1–3, NKJV)
  • In many parts, and many ways, God of old having spoken to the fathers in the prophets, in these last days did speak to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He did make the ages; who being the brightness of the glory, and the impress of His subsistence, bearing up also the all things by the saying of his might—through himself having made a cleansing of our sins, sat down at the right hand of the greatness in the highest.” (Hebrews 1:1–3, YLT)

In Hebrews 1:1-3, we see that The Scripture declares that God’s Son took over from the prophets as the oracle of God. The Holy Spirit goes on to call the days of Jesus Christ, “the last days”. And furthermore, He declares that God created the ages through Christ Jesus. The ages were made to reveal Jesus Christ. Those last days began when John baptized Jesus and The Father spoke out of heaven, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him.”

Now check this comparison between NKJV and NASB:

  • He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:26, NKJV)
  • Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:26, NASB95)

In Hebrews 9:26, Holy Spirit declares that Christ Jesus appeared at the consummation of the ages to be the sacrifice that puts away sin. It tells us that the sacrifice put an end to the age where sin ruled. We already spoke about the new covenant age that began with Christ Jesus first return from heaven after being declared by God the king of heaven and earth in Matthew 28:18. Acts 1:3 tells us that during this first return, Jesus spent forty days teaching the disciples about His kingdom.

Jesus appeared at the consummation or culmination of the ages both as a final sacrifice for sin to end the old covenant and as a blood sacrifice to confirm the new covenant. He ended one age and began a new one.

Consider amending your understanding of “last days”. They started with Jesus’ baptism and lasted at least until the temple in Jerusalem and all of its elements were destroyed by fire around 70 AD. This was one generation (40 years) after Jesus said in Matthew 24, “This generation shall not pass away until all is fulfilled.” The judgement declared by Moses and Jesus was carried out on all of Israel and Jerusalem, but not before offering them mercy through the cross and giving them a generation to repent and believe on The LORD Jesus Christ. The Old Covenant was completed and became obsolete and The New Covenant was established as a better covenant with better promises.