Monday, January 11, 2016

The Coming King Jesus

The Coming King Jesus

The words King, Lord, Sovereign are all words that communicate our understanding of the preeminence of Jesus.  The words are meaningless words apart from our understanding of the words obedience, submission, and subjection in our relationship to Him. The amount of Scripture testimony to the coming of King Jesus to establish a Kingdom on Earth is extensive and detailed.  The “Kingdom of heaven” is referred to thirty-two different times is the Gospel of Matthew.  In fact, that phrase is unique to the Gospel of Matthew.  The reason for this is found in the first verse of Matthew, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”  Therefore, this connects to two Old Testament Covenants:

1. The Abrahamic Covenant of the promised Seed (Galatians 3:16)
2. The Davidic Covenant as the covenanted King and “Righteous Branch” of king David (Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15)

“But the prominent character of Christ in Matthew is that of the covenanted King, David’s ‘righteous Branch’ Jer 23:5; 33:15. Matthew records His genealogy; His birth in Bethlehem the city of David, according to Mic 5:2, the ministry of His forerunner according to Malachi Mal 3:1.  His rejection by Israel; and His predictions of His second coming in power and great glory.  Only then (Mt 26.-28.) does Matthew turn to the earlier covenant, and record the sacrificial death of the son of Abraham.  This determines the purpose and structure of Matthew. It is peculiarly the Gospel for Israel; and, as flowing from the death of Christ, a Gospel for the whole world.”[1]

This general context of the Gospel of Matthew is critical to understanding most, if not all, of the teachings of Jesus recorded by Matthew.  The “Seed” of the Abrahamic Covenant and the “King” of the Davidic Covenant are prophetic essentials for fully understanding both salvation and the believer’s position in the Kingdom Age.  This is the context in which Christ Jesus is presented in the Gospel of Matthew.

At the first advent of Jesus Christ, He came as the suffering servant.  His birth and His life emulated humility, servanthood, and quiet submission to His Father’s will.  This humbling of Jesus is pertinent to the fact that He did not come in the first advent as King Jesus.  In His first advent, Jesus came as the Son of man to be the “last Adam” so that He could humble Himself unto death, “even the death of the Cross.”  In order for Jesus to have subjects, it was necessary for Him to die to redeem those subjects.  Those that receive the free gift of salvation from God available because of the death, burial, resurrection, and glorification of Jesus the God/man should confess “that Jesus Christ is Lord” and should bow in obeisance before Him.

“1 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:1-11).

Surely Christians should understand that the Saviour of our souls is also the Sovereign Lord of Heaven and Earth.  If we understand that every soul will one-day bow before the Lord Jesus, surely we should understand that He is Lord now.  Understanding the Lordship of Jesus should connect us to the moral obligations and personal responsibilities of accountability to His will each moment of each day of our lives.  Maintaining such a perspective is the central purpose of our devotional life and Bible reading – being devoted in our service to the King Jesus! This is the substance of the first four verses of Philippians chapter two.  Paul would conclude his epistle to the Philippians by giving detail instruction as to HOW to maintain our devotional service to King Jesus in chapter four.

“1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved. 2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you” (Philippians 4:1-9).

“The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5b).  This phrase certainly carries with it a warning regarding moral culpability to the Lord.  It might be compared to a mother telling her children, “just wait until your father gets home!”  The emphasis is upon a day of reckoning at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  The solution to the petty quarrels that often divide local churches, exemplified by these two women Euodias and Syntyche, is to occupy our minds with such things as truth, being honest, being just, being pure, being friendly, having a good reputation, and insuring our thought life is virtuous and filled with praise (Philippians 4:8-9).

This is no small task when we consider that by nature we are very petty creatures.  We often think that it is the great sins that offend God the most.  In many instances, it is the constant pettiness about minutia that is the most annoying and destructive to the inner peace that should belong to every believer.  Imagine how annoying this must be to God Who knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  These are the people who find some insignificant fault and pick at it until it bleeds.  These people have enough of their own minutia of failures to pick at, but somehow think it is their mission in life to point out and pick at the faults of others.  Christians just cannot seem to grasp that such nonsense is like casting pearls before swine destroying and contradicting the testimony of the church before the lost regarding what it means to be a servant of King Jesus.  This is why Jesus refers to such nonsense as hypocrisy in Matthew 7:5.

“3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you” (Matthew 7:3-6).

This is why it is critical to understand the general context of the Gospel of Matthew in that the purpose of this Gospel is to teach believers how to live NOW as subjects of the Kingdom of Heaven and of King Jesus.  The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is unique to the Gospel of Matthew used thirty-three times in thirty-two verses.  Almost all of the parables of Matthew deal with what it means to be genuine servants of King Jesus.  There are some that say that the teachings of the Gospel of Matthew are for the Kingdom Age.  To say that the teachings of Jesus in Matthew chapters five through seven are not for the Church Age is hyper-dispensational nonsense.  If that were the case, there would be no need for the Gospel of Matthew until the Kingdom Age.  The point of the heightened teaching of moral obligations during the Church Age is because the Church Age believer has the supernatural enabling of the indwelling Holy Spirit (grace) to help him live these higher expectations.  Becoming servants, rather than Lords, would become both the greatest struggle of the Christian life and the greatest accomplishment.

“20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:20-28).

There is probably nothing more contradictory to the sin nature of humanity than to willfully become the servant of another with the intent of giving one’s life to the betterment and promotion of another person’s welfare and well-being.  Fallen humanity has a natural, sinful propensity for playing King on the mountain.  The very nature of sinners is that they want to be kings, not servant.  Sinners are driven by their fallen natures to want worship, adoration, and praise from our fellow human beings.  This is the infection of satanic corruption that rose up against God’s sovereignty in the fall of angel Satan.  We have ALL been infected with this narcissistic corruption and resists being in to subjection to anyone.  This is why most people struggle with the numerous authority figures in their lives beginning with parents.  We see God’s hatred for such a view of life in His condemnation of Satan.

“12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; 17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners” (Isaiah 14:12-17)?

The Church Age Christian lives his life within the context of the careful watch for the imminent second coming of King Jesus.  The second advent of Christ must be kept at the forefront of the thinking of the everyday life of every Christian.  Perhaps today!  Psalms chapter two is the Psalm of King Jesus as he takes possession of Zion in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant at the end of the Tribulation and at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom.  The first three verses of Psalm two portray the attitude of the Christ rejecting world towards King Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth.  It is into this tension of hatred and adversarialism towards Christ that the true Christian is interjected as a cure to combat the viral infection of satanic worldliness.  We enter this corruption at the risk of life and limb with hope of perhaps rescuing one person from the grasp of Hell upon his soul.

“1 Why do the heathen {all unbelieving Gentile nations viewed as one entity} rage {violence, confusion, disorder}, and the people imagine {murmur} a vain thing {emptiness; most probably refers to the godless philosophies of Evolution and Secular Humanism during the last days}? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together {form a one world allegiance}, against the LORD {Jehovah}, and against his anointed (Jesus the Messiah}, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision {not making any sense to the point of being ridiculous}. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen {Gentile nations} for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them {Gentile nations} with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them {Gentile nations} in pieces like a potter’s vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth {the kings and judges here are faithful Church Age believers who will be the kings of which Jesus is King and lords of which Jesus is LORD}. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalms 2:1-12). 

By understanding the dispensational context of the first ten verses of Psalm two, we can then see that the Psalms 2:11 is an admonition to faithful obedience and loyalty to King Jesus throughout the all Ages.  The point of the text is the reverential awe of Jehovah that should exist within the context of the believer’s ministry before His eyes.  Every moment of our lives is lived within the sight and sound of God.  In other words, God sees all that we do and hears all that we say.  When we “serve” Him, we should do so with exceeding reverence.  When we “rejoice” in the blessings of the fruit He produces through answered prayer or personal witness, that rejoicing should be accompanied with a fearful shudder knowing your life has been touched by the hand of God.

Because of the nature of the incarnation, Jesus is God humanized.  When we think of God these days, we think of the God/man Jesus.  The Jews of Moses’ time thought of God in the tornado like pillar of cloud by day that seemed to connect Heaven and Earth with the awesome dread of the presence of God in their midst.

I cannot even imagine what the pillar of fire by night must have been like as the Shekinah glory of the presence of God would have lit the darkness of the night like the burning of the Sun.  Israel would have understood the destructive power of the tornado like cloud and the pillar of fire should that power have been released upon them even for the slightest moment.  Israel would have understood the words “serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” in a much different way than do we of modern times.  We have such a minimalist view of God.  The children of Israel would live their existence in the wilderness in “fear” and “trembling” in the midst of the visible presence of the awesome power of God.

This is the vision of God that Christians need because this is the Jesus that will be coming “in power and great glory.”  This will exceed the horrors of the Great Flood of Noah’s days where only eight souls survived the universal cataclysmic touch of the hand of God’s judgment upon the lost of this world.  For the lost of this world, the second coming of King Jesus will be accompanied with horrors and the destruction of this world that will be beyond human imagination!

“29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).

Someone once said to me, “I don’t like the book of Revelations.  It scares me.”  It should scare everyone.  By the end of the seven-year Tribulation and God’s judgment of the nations, the world’s population will have been reduced by two-thirds.  In other words, if it were today, nearly five-billion people will be killed by the judgments of God.  The world’s ecological system will be almost completely destroyed.  In other words, without the coming presence of the Creator, this world would no longer be able to sustain life as we know it today.  Perhaps this can give us a better understanding of the phrase, “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11).  If we are going to understand what it means to call Jesus Lord, we better begin to see Him in perfect holiness and begin to worship Him in awe and trembling.  Then, we might have a small semblance of understanding what the Word of God means when God says King Jesus will rule with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2:9, Revelation 2:27, 12:5, and 19:5).

Christianity has spent so much time presenting Jesus as the suffering Servant, there has been little teaching about the Sovereign King Jesus that will be returning in awesome judgment upon the Christ rejecting world.  The coming King Jesus is the Jesus our world needs to know and understand.  This is necessary because salvation means being saved from the pending wrath of the coming King Jesus that extends into eternity’s Hell.  Again, perhaps this can give us a better understanding of the phrase, “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11).

“11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelations 19:11-16).

We cannot, and do not, understand the wrath of God upon sin because we do not see sin as God sees sin.  Every single act of sin, regardless of how inconsequential it appears to our feeble little minds, is a hostile attack against the holy character of God and His Righteous Sovereignty.  Until we see every act of sin as God sees sin, we will not fear the wrath of God upon that sin.  Every act of sin is an attack against the throne of God.  It is to this superficial understanding of sin that God addresses in Psalm 2:1-6.  Understand this Christian!  When you willfully sin against God, that sin is a hostile attack against the character and nature of God.

“1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion” (Psalm 2:1-6).

Acts of sin, either our own or the sins of others in our immediate association, can bring us into horrendous and seemingly hopeless situations due to the natural consequences of sin or the supernatural chastisement of God.  The great truth of God’s omni-influence is that He never leaves His chosen alone in the human predicament of sin merely to fend for themselves.  God is always with them intimately and immediately working “all things . . . together for good . . . according to his purpose.”
Yet, there are eternal consequences for sin.  To fear God is to understand that those consequences are both horrible, terrifying, and eternal.  The grace of God is working “all things . . . together for good . . . according to his purpose.”  However, that does not mitigate the pending wrath of God upon sin.  That “day of wrath” (Romans 2:5) will be horrible beyond imagination! Only in this understanding can we possibly understand what it means to fear the Lord.

“6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 10 The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. 11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. 16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. 17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee” (Psalm 33:6-22).

Psalm thirty-three begins with the proclamation, “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.”  The word “righteous” refers to the justified by grace through faith – the redeemed.  The word “upright” simply means straight.  In our modern language, we would use this phrase to refer to someone who has gotten his life straightened out.  The justified should not need to be prompted to “rejoice.”  Those who have gotten their lives straightened out should not need to be prompted to praise God in worship.  Yet throughout the Word of God we find believers being prompted to do the very things that should naturally flow from the reality of their new positions as children of God.

Psalm 33:6 declares that God merely spoke His will to create the universe.  The intent of the declaration is for believers to consider the Being that calls Himself God.  In doing so, we should naturally make a comparison of Who He is to who we are.  Can we even fathom a Being so omnipotent that He can create something infinite?  We cannot!  So we assume a finite universe and a finite God Who must be explainable and comprehendible.  He is neither finite or comprehendible!  How dare the creature question the motives of the Creator.  Yet we see such impudence often coming forth from the mouths of men.  We often hear such questions and ignorant accusations coming from people professing to be Christians.

Every Bible believing Christian should spend much time answering the numerous questions posed to Job by God in Job chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine. In doing so, that Christian will come face to face with the reality of the Theological distinctions regarding the differences between who he is and Who God is that will help him to preserve God in the unique perspective that God deserves.  If we somehow think it is our right to question God’s motives, we certainly must understand that it is God’s right to try to give us a Theological perspective of Who He is compared to humanity.

It is said that there is more science exposed to humanity by God in these two chapters of Scripture than anywhere else in the Bible.  Science may be able to answer many of these questions in a superficial way, but they will never understand the interrelation of the symphony we know as Creation this side of Heaven, and maybe not even then. This is the King Jesus of the Bible.

It is difficult to see ourselves as servants of other men because we think of ourselves as equals.  However, narcissism takes this unwillingness to be servants to others to another level of corruption.  Most people see themselves as superior to others.  Therefore, how can they become subservient to their inferiors – utter nonsense.  This is not how we should see Jesus.  The Word of God tells us He is our Creator.  He spoke the universe (and us) into existence merely by the expression of His will.  His “word” holds planets and stars in their place in space.  Jesus is the Laws of Physics Personified.  Surely we can submit to His will.  The real problem in failing to submit to Jesus is the age old problem of lip service unbelief!

“1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 3 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 on the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

This is the point of Colossians 2:17 in that apart from the constant sovereign intervention of King Jesus in His creation, everything would be reduced to chaos and destruction, including our lives.  There is no hope for any order in this creation apart from the eminent controls of King Jesus.  

“12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things {preeminence}, and by him all things consist (eminence}” (Colossians 2:12-17).

[1] Scofield, C. I. 1917 Scofield Reference Bible Notes, SwordSearcher Software 7.2. SwordSearcher\Modules\Scofield.ss5cmty. Module file time: 7/31/2011 7:15:28 PM UTC.

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Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. 
He has served the Lord for over 40 years.

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