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*Reading Time: 6 minutes*

Before reading this brief study, please read the previous article in this series, Love Growing Cold

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE

Matthew 24:14 —  And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.  

Mark 13:10 — And the Gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.

Churches and denominations have repeatedly heard this passage of scripture and are evangelizing to bring this verse into fulfillment. However, we now understand that Jesus was speaking of the end of the Temple and the destruction of the city.

Jesus was speaking of the end of the Mosaic age and the establishment of the Messiah’s age; however, this does not exclude our responsibility of evangelizing today as all need Jesus Christ to be saved. We must disciple nations and teach the Gospel of the Kingdom and be busy doing this continually. 

The disciples had never heard anything like this from Jesus. They were attentive to every detail which He explained to them. This prophetic discourse was very important to them as they would in turn be responsible to pass it on to the other believers who would be added to them. 

We must disciple nations and teach the Gospel of the Kingdom and be busy doing this continually. Click To Tweet

Jesus gave them a chronology of events and having vividly described the false signs of the times, He placed a final demand upon His followers. This demand was placed specifically upon His disciples gathered to Him on the Mount of Olives. This was something which the disciples had to fulfill before the sign that the establishment of the Kingdom of God would be revealed, 

Matthew 24:14 — And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. 

Jesus demanded His disciples to preach “this Gospel of the Kingdom” to the entire Jewish world scattered throughout the nations of the Roman Empire and then the end of the age would come—the end of the old covenant age— the end of the age of Moses—the end of the Temple.

THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

The Jews were waiting for the Messiah to come and establish the earthly Jewish Kingdom, where the “Messiah” would be King. But, the Gospel of the Kingdom was not a Gospel of an earthly, material, political Jewish Kingdom. It was a Gospel of a heavenly spiritual Kingdom. It included salvation and redemption both to the believing Jews and Gentiles. 

His disciples believed that the Gospel which they were proclaiming was the true Gospel. They preached this Gospel to the entire known Greco-Roman world before the destruction of Jerusalem. The Gospel of the Kingdom which they preached was the Gospel of Grace—the Gospel of Salvation—the Gospel of Redemption—which in totality is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist began his ministry with this message “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” It was at hand or near because Jesus the Lamb was already present. This all occurred before the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord. After His death, the Kingdom was not postponed as many teachers would like you to believe, but it was established in His resurrection, ascension, and enthronement at God’s right hand in heaven!  

The whole Gospel of Jesus Christ is the death, burial, resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and present reign as the almighty King and things of the Spirit. The Church is called to enforce His rule on the earth. 

DAVID FORESAW THE KING AND HIS KINGDOM

The “coming of the Messiah” was a common expectation of the Jewish people in the first century. God showed king David a prophetic picture of God setting up one of David’s descendants—a man, the anointed, the Christ; the Son of God upon David’s throne.

The apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, accurately interpreted David’s prophetic vision. As he preached his first apostolic message at Pentecost, Peter declared that David,

Acts 2:30 – 31 — “…was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants upon his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ.” (summary mine)

Peter declared that David did not speak of Christ sitting on the throne culminating at the second coming, as many argue, but he “spoke of the resurrection of the Christ”. Peter makes no mention of the second coming of Christ in his Pentecost proclamation. The Kingdom of Christ would begin with His resurrection and ascension. 

According to Peter, Jesus would sit on the throne, but not in the earth, and not in earthly Jerusalem. He would sit on David’s throne and reign from heaven. This was contrary to the Jewish Messianic expectation as is now to the dispensational interpretations. His reign and Kingdom was established after His resurrection and ascension. Jesus exalted the throne of David to a higher dimension—Spirit dimension.

 The heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom was the message of the resurrection, exaltation, enthronement, and reign of Christ. And this Gospel of the Kingdom was the heart of the early church and they had no other message! 

WHICH WORLD?

The word, “world” in Greek did not mean what we understand today as the whole world. The Greek word used here is, ‘oikoumenē’ which means, ‘specially the Roman empire’. The Greek word is not ‘aion’ which means ‘age’ or ‘kosmos’ which is translated as ‘the universe’. 

“The ‘world’ is ‘ oikoumeneoe’, lit. ‘the inhabited area’, a standard term originally for the Greek world (as opposed to barbarians), then for the Roman Empire, and subsequently for the whole of the then-known world; it is thus not so much a geographical term which must include every area and community now known to be on earth, but rather an indication of the universal offer of the Gospel to a (nations, i.e. outside the confines of the Jewish community.” [France, Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary, 342]

The heart of the Gospel of the Kingdom was the message of the resurrection, exaltation, enthronement, and reign of Christ. And this Gospel of the Kingdom was the heart of the early church and they had no other message! Click To Tweet 

Thayer says, 

“The word world (Gr. oikoumenh) is defined as, “the inhabited earth; a. in Greek writings often the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks, in distinction from the lands of the barbarians” [Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament]                                                            

The word “oikoumenē” is used in the following verses, indicating the Roman Empire,

Acts 11:27 – 28 — Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).

Luke 2:1 — In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

Luke 2:1 — Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth

 Acts 24:5 – 6 — “For we have found this man a real pest and a fellow who stirs up dissension among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.” 6 “And he even tried to desecrate the Temple; and then we arrested him. We wanted to judge him according to our own Law.”

PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISE

This promise was partially fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when “Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven” heard the Gospel of Christ. [Acts 2:5]                                                       

Peter preached the death, resurrection, ascension, exaltation, and enthronement of Jesus Christ. The message began on the day of Pentecost and continued mainly to the Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire before the destruction of the Temple. Three thousand people gladly received the word spoken by Peter and the Lord began to build His house—His church—His body on this earth.

After the City was brought to ruins and the Temple was burned down and destroyed in 70 AD., the Jews were scattered throughout the world and so the next phase of the preaching of the Gospel began to the entire now known world.

HERALD THE GOSPEL

The Greek rendering for the word “preached” is “kēryssō” which is “to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth”

The Gospel of Jesus Christ was a cry straight from the heart of the Spirit of God, through His vessels to the entire world. Jesus said that the Gospel would be preached to “…all the world as a witness to all nations.”

The disciples proclaimed the message of the Gospel in all the—then known Greco-Roman world to the Jews and Gentiles. In the face of persecutions and betrayal, they remained faithful to the words of Jesus Christ and gladly offered their lives for the sake of Christ.

DIRECTED FIRST TO THE JEWS

Peter repeatedly directed the focal point of the message of Pentecost first to the Jews: “Men of Judea, and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give heed to my words…this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel…” 

“Men of Israel listen to these words…” 

“My brothers may I confidently say to you…” 

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:14-36 – summary)

In the next part, we will emphasize on the same Gospel which Paul preached with a different focus and calling.

Blessings,

Godwin.

All content © Godwin Sequeira, 2019.

error: *Blessings*