The Postponement of the Meditorial Kingdom

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Part Eight – The Postponement of the Meditorial Kingdom

 

As we learned last time, the Meditorial Kingdom was offered to Israel at our Lord’s First Coming. According to Daniel’s prophecy of “70 weeks” (lit. 70 periods of 7 - Dan. 9:24-27), the Meditorial Kingdom would be restored 490 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 445 BC. Daniel also mentions that this period would be divided into two sections. The first section would cover the first 69 periods of 7 (483 years) and would end with “the Messiah being cut off, but not for Himself” (v. 26a). This of course is a reference to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ to atone for the sin of mankind. The second section would cover the last period of seven (7 years) which would end with the Messiah/King coming to earth to establish Meditorial Kingdom. 

It would appear that the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy was originally intended to transpire some period shortly after the Resurrection. The exact length of that period depended upon the willingness of the Jewish nation to repent, be converted, and accept Jesus as their Messiah. If they had done this at the time of Christ’s resurrection, the last seven years would have been started immediately. This I believe was the desire of God and would have definitely been the best case scenario of Israel. The following chart shows God’s original desire for restoration, a period of 490 continuous years leading up to the restoration of the Kingdom around the year 40 AD.

God in His great mercy and patience was willing to give Israel some time for them to reconsider His offer, therefore He continued to the offer the Kingdom through His Apostles during the early decades of the Church. This is clearly evident in Peter’s message to the multitude of Jews in the Temple shortly after the start of the Church.

Acts 3:19-22, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

However, even the patience of the Lord has its limits and Daniel alludes to how long God would make His offer available to Israel. Daniel indicates that after the death and resurrection of Christ, the people (Rome) of the prince who is to come (the Antichrist) would destroy the city and the temple. This took place in 70 AD and it was God’s way of indicating to Israel when His patience would run out and the offer of the Kingdom would be withdrawn. The reason for drawing this conclusion is because according to Daniel (9:27) and our Lord (Matt. 24:15), during the last seven years, Israel will have a temple and sacrifices. This temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist in the mid point of the last seven years. With the temple completely destroyed in 70 AD and most of Israel scattered among the nations, Israel would have to wait for a time in which she could return to the land, build a temple, and reinitiate the sacrificial system. This is the very message of our Lord in Matt. 23:38-24:2. In 23:38-39, Jesus states that when they find the temple (your house) desolate (uninhabitable waste land), they will not see the Lord any more until they are ready to receive Him (“blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”). Lest anyone should misunderstand what He meant when describing the temple as desolate, our Lord clarifies this point in Matt, 24:2 when He says, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."

The Meditorial Kingdom was offered to Israel during the period of 32-70 AD or a total of 38 years and in that time the Israelite people continually rejected the Kingdom because they had willfully chosen to blind themselves to the truth. This was on the mind of Paul when just prior to destruction of the temple in 70 AD, Paul made this declaration about the hardness of Israel’s heart and the consequences that would follow.

Acts 28:25-29, “So when they did not agree among themselves, they departed after Paul had said one word: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers, saying, 'Go to this people and say: 'Hearing you will hear, and shall not understand; And seeing you will see, and not perceive; For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them."' "Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will hear it!" And when he had said these words, the Jews departed and had a great dispute among themselves.”

Anyone who has dealt with some one who has their minds made up and are not willing to consider any other possibilities knows the frustration the Apostle Paul felt toward his own people. Paul had such a love for his people and seeing close they were to Kingdom, was willing even to go so far as to suffer in hell if it meant his people would turn to the Lord.

Rom 9:2-4, “that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites,”

Since Israel willfully rejected God’s offer He withdraw the offer of the Kingdom and rescheduled if for a later time. With this rescheduling of the offer of the Kingdom the last 7 year period of Daniel’s prophecy had to be pushed back to a later time as well. This necessary gap in the prophetic calendar of Daniel would be used of God to chasten Israel through Gentile persecution, oppression, genocide with the purpose of breaking their stubborn and hard hearts. They must be ready to repent before they can be restored (John 3:3; Matt. 23:39). While God is dealing with Israel, in His great mercy, He chose to use a temporary substitute for Israel in order to carry on His work of bringing Salvation to the world. This stand in substitute would be called the Church and it would be made up for the most part of Gentiles. It is in this necessary gap in Daniel’s prophecy that we presently find ourselves. The following chart when compared to the earlier one shows the revision God has had to make in His work of restoring the Meditorial Kingdom and His chosen people.

God’s Resumption of His Restoration

It can then be said that the timing of the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy and the restoration of the Meditorial Kingdom are determined by the progress God makes in bringing His people to the point of repentance and conversion. When He is within 7 years of completing this task God will restart the prophecy of Daniel placing Israel and the world within 7 years of the restoration of the Meditorial Kingdom. The Scriptures tell us that there are two clues that will announce to Israel that Daniel’s last 7 years have begun. 

The First Clue is the rapture of the Church (1 Thes 4:13-18). The term “rapture” comes from the Latin and means to “catch up.” The Lord will come to the upper atmosphere of the earth and will suddenly remove all Church Age believers out of the world. He begins this “catching up” by first resurrecting all Church Saints who have died before His Coming. Their souls being brought with Him from Heaven will be rejoined to their physical bodies and then they will be transformed into the image of the glorious body of Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 3:2). Those Saints who are alive at Christ’s Coming will be immediately transformed (1 Cor. 15:51-55) and they will join the resurrected Saints in the upper atmosphere where Jesus awaits them. Having gathered them together, Christ will take them to His Father’s home, heaven, where they will be kept hidden from the world during the entire 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy. There will be no warning or sign given before this event happens neither will the world witness it taking place. Paul says the time it will take to do this is the “twinkling of an eye.” This means the time it takes for light to reflect off and eye. As far as the world is concerned, the Church Saints will be there one second and gone then next. What a horrific experience this will be to those unbelievers who suddenly find their loved ones and friends suddenly gone with no trace of where they have gone!

Why does God choose to remove His church Saints before starting the last 7 years of Daniel’s prophecy? We give at least two reasons. First of all, the Church is removed because her mission of filling in for Israel has been completed and they are no longer needed by God for what He is about to do next. Secondly, God removes them because He has promised His church Saints that they will never suffer the wrath of God (1 Thes. 1:10; 5:9). As we look at the last seven years of Daniel’s prophecy, the wrath of God is poured out on the world in three series of 7 judgments. So serious are these judgments that this period is called the Tribulation and if it were any longer than 7 years, there would be no life left on the earth. Jesus adds to this by indicating that more destruction will fall upon the earth in these 7 years that caused by the global flood of Noah’s day (Matt. 24:21-22).

The second clue that Daniel’s last 7 years has started is a peace pack signed between Israel and the Antichrist. In Daniel 9:27, it states that the Antichrist will sign a unique peace pack with Israel that will leave Israel feeling so secure that she will dwell in villages with out the need of walls to defend them (Ezek. 38:11). How different that is from today where Israel is continually building walls and barriers to protect them from the attacks of the Palestinians and Arab nations. Israel will probably feel as if maybe the Millennium has started due to this unprecedented peace. However, Daniel goes on to tell us this peace is short lived for in less than 3½ years the land will be over run by nations from the North and the South. 

Like Israel, there are many today that have hard unyielding hearts to the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can share with them the truth’s of God’s Word and even offer empirical proof that these things are so and the unbelieving mind will find a way to refuse it. I hear many say, if only we could find the Ark of Noah or do the miracles of Jesus, then the unbeliever would have to believe. However, those with a closed mind do not “have” to do anything. The only hope that an unbeliever will believe is through the convicting work of God’s Spirit. Are you ready in case you were to die today? Would you go to heaven or to hell? What if the rapture occurs tomorrow? Will you go to be with Christ in heaven or will you be left on this earth to endure the terrible wrath of God?