Gospel of the Kingdom/Gospel of the death and resurrection rightly divided
Gospel of the Kingdom/Gospel of the death and resurrection rightly divided
There are two distinct messages that were preached. There are two distinct periods off time these messages occurred. The Gospel of the Kingdom is not to be mixed up with the Gospel of the death and resurrection of Christ. The Gospel of the Kingdom was preached under the Law of Moses...during the earthly ministry of Christ. The Gospel pf the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ was preached under Grace...after Christ died ascended to Heaven where He rules from today.
Not knowing how to rightly divide the Word of God is so prevalent in our present age. Some people have misinterpreted 2 Chronicles 7:14 by spiritualizing the content and applying the passage to the Church today. This is dangerous, as the passage is a clear reference to the nation of Israel and promises the restoration of their land. This passage has no reference to the United States.
2 Chron 7:14...If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
First of all it says, "If my people which are called by my name shall humble themselves". God's people in the Old Testament was the nation of Israel/the Hebrew nation. Israel was to humble themselves to keep the Law. Christian's don't humble themselves to keep the Law. Christian's are humble by the power of God's Spirit that changes the moral makeup of a child of God. Israel was to seek the face of God...Christians don't seek the face of God...Christian's are found by the face of God. Israel constantly sought God by keeping the Law and offering sacrifice. Christian's find God and the Christian experience when forgiveness of sin and holiness of heart takes over their lives through the effect of Calvary in the human soul. This experience is found through a Christian's faith in the person of Christ. Christian's don't constantly seek God, they are satisfied with what they found in the person of Christ...Salvation, peace, and contentment. Israel was to turn from their wicked ways. Christian's turn from evil the minute they believe in Christ ... and live the holy life after they believe in Christ. Christian get rid of wickedness when they accept Christ as Saviour. Israel was a backslidden and disobedient people. Christians are true and obedient to God. Isreal had to be forgiven from a backslidden state. Christian's are washed, cleansed, and forgiven by through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. This healing of Israel's land implied restoration that will be given to Israel when the Kingdom of Heaven is established on Earth. God will restore the land, the crops with rain, the plant life, the animal life, etc.
All that said to say this, "Spiritualization of Scriptures that are given to Israel and misapplying these to the Church now is "wrongly dividing God's Word". It's dangerous, deceptive, misleading, and rampant this present hour.
If Israel would have accepted the Messiahship of Jesus this would have brought full restoration of the land. The only thing Israel had to do was to receive the message of the Kingdom by Jesus Christ the Messiah, John the Baptist, and the disciples. In their combined years of preaching, their message certainly was not the message of the death, burial, and resurrection according to the Prophets , which is the true Gospel.
Jesus did not preach His death, burial, and resurrection. In fact, He said very little about it until after He had given the Kingdom message to Israel and they had rejected the Kingdom of Heaven. They rejected His reign on earth saying,
Luke 19:14...We will not have this man to reign over us.
Only after they rejected their long-awaited Messiah did Jesus begin to talk about His crucifixion. He began to foretell how He would be delivered into the hands of the Gentiles, how they would crucify Him, and how He would rise again the third day*.
*When the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are examined closely anyone who studies will be able to see where the Kingdom message ended and Christ began speaking about His crucifixion. For example,
Matt 16:20-21...Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
When Christ, Himself, told Peter that He was actually going to die, Peter did not believe Him.
Matt 16:22...Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee
Peter did not have Christian faith or New Covenant faith. He did not have faith in the death of Christ. He could not accept that Christ was going to die. Because of Peter's disbelief, he could not have faith in Christ's death or resurrection.
*Please note that Peter did have Kingdom faith and recognized the Messiahship of Christ in the Kingdom of Heaven as described in this question by Christ,
Matt 16:15-17...But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
The Kingdom message was given to the Hebrew nation with the purpose of offering both Kingdoms to Israel-God's rule over man and man's rule over earth. The Kingdom of God was to rule the hearts of all in Israel to prepare them for dominion over earth. However, instead of accepting His Messiahship, they rejected the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Christ's reign on earth was rejected by the Hebrew nation.
In order to reign with Christ on earth, man must have a holy heart. This was Christ's message to Nicodemus in John 3
John 3:5...Except a man be born of the water, and the Spirit. The Spirit dealt with promises of the Holy Spirit poured out on Israel and pointed to a future restoration on the earth; a rest, greater than the land of Canaan. Perhaps Nicodemus was familiar with this part of deliverance by the Spirit* however, Jesus questioned him about it.
John 3:10...Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
*Deliverance by the Spirit is twofold: 1. It's deliverance from sin in the new birth through the inner work of the Spirit. 2. The outer work of the Spirit when the earth is purged and restored physically where in the future Christ rules on the Throne of David visibly in the Millennial Kingdom.
**Remember, God had provided deliverance to Israel and promised to restore a Kingdom. He also promised to pour out His Holy Spirit! The invisible work of the Holy Spirit through a new birth offered any believing Jew entrance into Christ's visible Kingdom on earth at that time€had the Kingdom message been accepted. Unfortunately, the majority rejected His Messiahship and God's visible Kingdom on earth was postponed.
Here's the message that Peter received when Jesus said,
Matt 16:19...And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:
To have the Kingdom of God and to be eligible to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, man must be born from above. That Kingdom where Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will sit down with the saints is, the Kingdom of Heaven.
Here's the difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven
Kingdom of God...The operation of God that gives man a holy heart. God saves man from his sins; sanctifies him by the Spirit; and gives him a divine nature to live a holy life. A believer receives the Kingdom of God within. This inner work is an invisible and spiritual Kingdom where God reigns over man from His Throne in Heaven.
Kingdom of Heaven...The operation of God that gives man the earth to rule and reign. This operation takes place when Christ comes back the second time. In order for any man to receive the Kingdom of Heaven he must first have the Kingdom of God in his heart. The Kingdom of Heaven is an earthly and physical Kingdom where Christ physically rules from His earthly Throne in Jerusalem