23 April 2017

Has Christ Returned With His Kingdom?

Psalm 19: 1-3

Some may claim that Yeshua the Christ never returned from heaven as King, or that His kingdom (the kingdom of God) did not arrive as promised.

But what is clearly understood from the testimony does not always compute with the heart that is still unopened:
“For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what they have done.” 
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” 
- Matthew 16: 27-28 
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” 
- Luke 9: 27 
And He said to them, “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.” 
- Mark 9: 1
Did Yeshua actually return along with His kingdom?

Looking at Matthew 12 (before Yeshua was crucified), we read:
But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 
- Matthew 12: 28
What can we conclude when Yeshua claims to drive out demons (evil spirits) by the Spirit of God?

Yeshua is teaching that wherever the Spirit of God is at work, the kingdom of God is there and present.

Looking at 'what', 'how' and 'where' the kingdom of God is:
Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Yeshua replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” 
- Luke 17: 20-21
So just as Yeshua claimed to have the Spirit of God within Himself (a theological point Islam agrees with when labeling Yeshua / Jesus / Isa 'the Spirit of God'), we understand from Yeshua's teaching that the kingdom of God is not visible to human eyes, but is Spirit and thus exists within the believers.

When was the Spirit of God poured into believers?

Forty days after Yeshua rose from the dead and went into heaven:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 
- Acts 2: 1-4
Interestingly, Islamic theology seems to agree with this particular testimony when it testifies that Yeshua is the Spirit of God (manifested on earth in the flesh of the man Yeshua Christ, the Son of Man, called the Son of Mary in Islamic theology).

As Yeshua taught, wherever the Spirit of God is there is also the kingdom of God.

So according to Scripture the kingdom of God had arrived firstly when Christ walked the earth, and continues to be poured into the hearts of those who believe Yeshua is Lord (and are thus baptized with the Holy Spirit as the Gospel declares).

Notice that some time after the Holy Spirit (Yeshua's Spirit) was poured into men's hearts on the Day of Pentecost, Saul later called Paul (who previously persecuted the church) actually 'sees' Yeshua on the road to Damascus:
As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a Voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. 
“I Am Yeshua, whom you are persecuting,” He replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 
- Acts 9: 3-6
The misunderstanding in the claim that Yeshua has not returned is like saying Yeshua has been doing nothing in heaven for 2,000 years.

But we understand God is always at work and nothing slips by God's knowledge and vision.

It can be argued that Yeshua has been judging people as King since He rose into heaven and sat on the throne.

The dead have been raised from earth, and all things are now in a spiritual context, no longer in a physical understanding:
And when Yeshua had cried out again in a loud voice, He gave up His Spirit. 
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Yeshua's resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people. 
- Matthew 27: 50-51
Regarding Yeshua being the Spirit of God, may your heart understand the following as it is messaged:
If you love Me, keep My commands. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 
- John 14: 15-18
So on the Day of Pentecost, about 40 days after the flesh of Yeshua rose from the dead, Yeshua returned to His disciples as the Spirit of Truth / Holy Spirit / Spirit of God.

Yeshua returned as the Comforter / Advocate / Spirit of Truth...as was written long ago:
For to us a child is born,  
   to us a Son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.  
   And He will be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, 
   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
- Isaiah 9: 6

Yeshua is much more than a mere human being, despite taking the form of a man.

Yeshua is what has been revealed from Above since the beginning...and so much more.

Yeshua is Lord.

Amen.

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