A Prayer
of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise
and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will


Part 2
The Coming of the Kingdom

By Edgar Jones

Part I of this three part series explained the crucifixion of Jesus as it relates directly to personal salvation of the believer.  There are three parts to this series, subtitled as:

1. Personal salvation of the sinner

2. Coming of the kingdom of God

3. Personal experience of Jesus

Comparing these three with the three perspectives of three dimensional space, and understanding that one needs to perceive this topic in all three dimension before one can fully comprehend why Jesus died, we viewed the topic from the perspective of personal salvation.  To do this effectively, it was first necessary to expose the fallacies of the utterly false Christian view that sees Jesus on the Cross as the final sacrifice of atonement, bearing the sins of humanity.  It is impossible to understand this terrible act of violence on the Prince of Peace apart from discarding every element of the Christian view and opening our hearts and minds to the Truth as explained by Jesus himself -- Truth to which Christians have been immunized by Pauline doctrine for nearly two millennia.  We therefore examined one supposedly logical explanation of the Christian view and exposed its obvious failings, then turned to show the explanation given by Jesus.  We showed that he died as our leader, not as our substitute.  He died ahead of us, not instead of us.  This is all crystal clear when we listen to the Good Shepherd as his sheep are prone to do. 

His death by crucifixion is indeed effective for the personal salvation of all who hear his voice and follow him, apart from which there is no salvation.  But there was another dynamic purpose served at the cross of Jesus, for it was then that the kingdom of God came on earth as it is in heaven.  Here, in Part II, we listen to Jesus so as to understand this cardinal event in the history of man.

I. The Christian Views

These views of the coming of the kingdom are utterly false as can be easily discerned by reference to the utterances of the Lord.  I use the plural "views" here because the Christians do not speak with one accord, yet their views can be shown to be false by reference to the Words of the Lord.  We can categorized their views, as they do, as pre millennial and post millennial, or as gradual growth or cataclysmic change, or as some combination of these.  The one thing they all hold in common is that it will result in a the perfection of human life on earth.  War, poverty, injustice . . . everything evil will end and perfect peace, prosperity and justice will reign on the earth in that day.  All we need do here is point to a single utterance of the Lord to demolish all these views:

[20] Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;

Hear that and mark it well!

Yet other utterances of the Lord both falsify these Christian views and explain the motivation of those who subscribe to them.  Here is the most enlightening Word:

[19] Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal,
[20] but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
[21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

It cannot be reasonably denied that this utterance points to the core of the condition of all who treasure the Christian views.  They treasure the vision of the perfection of human conditions, and it is on the earth.  Where their treasure is, there their heart is.  Our Lord would never have said this if the coming of the kingdom were to perfect human society on the earth.  We need say nothing more to confirm the falsity of the Christian views. 

II. The Good News of the Kingdom

Matthew described the message of Jesus as good news (gospel) of the kingdom of God.  He also has Jesus identifying his message in the same terms.

[23] And he went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel (good news) of the kingdom and healing every disease and every infirmity among the people.
[35] And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel (good news) of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.
[14] And this gospel (good news) of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come.

"Good news" about the kingdom could mean only one thing to his generation, yearning, longing, praying for their long lost kingdom as they were: It is near, it is very, very near.  Jesus confirmed this expectation repeatedly, with utterances such as this:

[28] Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

[1] Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.

[27] But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.

Our Lord flatly stated that the kingdom would come before some of those hearing him would taste of death -- which I take to mean that it would come before they died.  It was therefore an event for that generation.  That is the only reasonable conclusion, because it was good news to that generation only if that generation were to see it come to pass.

III. The Moment of the Coming of the Kingdom

Jesus defines this very moment with great precision, and we have only to listen to him and believe to understand it so as to rejoice at the good news.  Listen:

[18] for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.

Therefore, if we want to know the exact time of this great event, we need only determine when he next drank the fruit of the vine.  Also, if we see him refusing such drink, we know the kingdom has not come at that moment.  Luke uniquely recorded this utterance (the parallels are in slightly different terms) yet even he did not realize its significance because he did not follow up.  Neither did Matthew or Mark.  The first contact they mention between Jesus and the fruit of the vine is this, which occurs immediately prior to the crucifixion:

[33] And when they came to a place called Gol'gotha (which means the place of a skull),
[34] they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
[35] And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots;
[36] then they sat down and kept watch over him there.

[22] And they brought him to the place called Gol'gotha (which means the place of a skull).
[23] And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
[24] And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.

They give no reason for his refusal to drink the wine (fruit of the vine), but we know that it was for one reason only: the kingdom had not come in that moment.  It is the Fourth Gospel that brings forth the complete revelation:

[28] After this Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the scripture), I thirst.
[29] A bowl full of vinegar stood there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop and held it to his mouth.
[30] When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  

The vinegar was a sour wine, a fruit of the vine.  Now recall that our Lord clearly said:

[18] for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.

Matthew and Mark inform us that he refused to drink the fruit of the vine when it was first offered, immediately prior to the crucifixion, when it would have provided some immediate relief for his terrible thirst.  There is no indication that he had partaken of any liquid since the Passover meal the prior evening.  We know why: the kingdom had not come. 

The Fourth Gospel informs us that he was offered a fruit of the vine a second time, immediately prior to his death and at his request.  The evangelist informs us further that it was to fulfill scripture, probably Psalm 69:21:

[21] They gave me poison for food,
and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

That may be.  But if so, where is the poison food?  There is no record that he was given anything to eat.  This can, at best, be only a partial explanation for this event.  We now know what it is -- the kingdom of God came at the moment of the death of Jesus, and he signaled the event when he asked for the drink by crying out I thirst! and by giving and fulfilling the clue given at the Passover meal the preceding evening.

[18] for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.


The kingdom of God came on earth at the moment of the death of Jesus, and he died to bring this to pass.  Yes, that is why he died.  Yes, he died to lead us to the Father and accomplish the personal salvation of each one, but he also died to bring the kingdom of God to the earth as it is in heaven. 

When Jesus instructed his disciples to pray, he told them to say this:

[10] Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.

That  petition was fulfilled, lacking nothing, at the moment of the death of Jesus.  Yet to this day the Christians are assembling each Lord's Day and joining together in offering this petition up to the Father as if it were yet to be!  Do you see how great and persistent errors can be quickly resolved simply by hearing the voice of our Good Shepherd?

Part III of this series will declare why Jesus died in terms of his personal experience.  We want to understand what his death meant to him, and in doing so we blend all three of these perspectives into a single image so as to view the whole.

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