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The Feast of Tabernacles and the Kingdom of God

In Mark 1:14, we read about what Jesus was preaching when he first started his ministry.

(Mark 1:14 KJV) Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,

We all know the story of how Jesus first came to John to be baptized by him. It was John the Baptist who was doing the preaching to the people, announcing the coming of the Messiah. After his baptism and the announcement from heaven, Jesus was taken to the wilderness to be tempted by Satan for forty days. All the while, it was John who was doing the public preaching. John was preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. It wasn't until John was put in prison that Jesus began his public preaching. His message incorporated John's but Jesus went beyond John in preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God. It wasn't a new message. It had been proclaimed over centuries by the prophets of old. In Luke 16:16, Jesus even specified the relationship between the law, the prophets, and John the Baptist.

(Luke 16:16 Darby) The law and the prophets were until John: from that time the glad tidings of the kingdom of God are announced, and every one forces his way into it.

John set the stage. Jesus just took John's message to the next step. How much do you know about the Kingdom of God? Just what is it and what does the message about the Kingdom have to do with the times now ahead of us?

The Kingdom

Well, first we have to ask, what is a kingdom? You might think of fairy tales where the king and his family live in a great castle behind a moat and have banquets all day. The royal family lives in luxury isolated from all the subjects in their domain. Is that an accurate portrayal of the Kingdom of God? Is the Kingdom of God like other worldly kingdoms of man with perpetual slavery, unending servitude and back breaking labor for all the subjects? That doesn't sound like a good message.

The English word gospel is derived from the Greek word euaggelion (pronounced yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on). It is Strong's number 2098, euaggelion, and it means a good message. It is from the verb euaggelizo (yoo-ang-ghel-id'-zo ) which means to announce good news from which we derive the English word evangelize.

Well, if it's an announcement of good news, what was the subject of that announcement? The world's so-called Christian religions have turned that announcement into a biography on the reporter. Centuries worth of Christian preachers have simply taught millions of people about the messenger, Jesus Christ. While it is important to learn, to know, and to believe the importance of the messenger as the Son of God and all that he stood for in becoming the acceptable sacrifice for our sins, the mere biography of the messenger obscures the importance of the message he brought. He taught about the Kingdom of God but few really seems to concretely know what is the Kingdom of God.

A Kingdom is composed of at least four things:

  1. Land or territory.
  2. A king or sovereign ruler.
  3. Laws and judgments.
  4. People or subjects.

So, a kingdom contains a certain amount of territory with people being ruled by a ruler administering laws. The tone of any kingdom is set by the ruler. He can be a rough tyrant, oppressing the people with harsh servitude, or he can be a benevolent ruler, ruling the people with kindness and gentleness for their own benefit.

The gospel message of the Kingdom of God was the announcement of good news about its coming. That's right; remember our earlier definition of euaggelion? We found it means "a good message." So, Jesus' message was a good one about the coming of a good kingdom for the good of the people. In the first century, they obviously thought such a good kingdom was coming in their day. Today, we know it still isn't here but we continue to celebrate its soon-coming. We look forward with anticipation to the promises given to us about the Kingdom of God in the Bible.

1. What is the territory of the Kingdom of God?

In Luke 13:20, Jesus taught of the territorial expansion of the Kingdom of God to ultimately encompass the whole world.

(Luke 13:20-21 NASB) And again He said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God? {21} "It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of meal, until it was all leavened."

Jesus wasn't the only one who spoke of the encompassing nature of God's Kingdom. The territory occupied by the Kingdom of God was even spelled out plainly in the Old Testament, in the book of Daniel. In the second chapter of Daniel, we are given a glimpse of the mighty world-ruling kingdoms of man throughout the ages of history. In verse 44, Daniel concluded the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar's dream.

(Dan 2:44-45 NKJV) "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. {45} "Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure."

The promises of that future kingdom were given by Christ and his apostles throughout the New Testament. They were glimpses of the attributes and conditions to be found in that good kingdom. Many of those attributes were proclaimed to the masses through parables and later explained privately to his disciples, as we can see in Mark 4:26.

(Mark 4:26-34 NKJV) And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, {27} "and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. {28} "For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. {29} "But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." {30} Then He said, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? {31} "It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; {32} "but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade." {33} And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. {34} But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

2. Who is the ruler and how does he rule in the Kingdom of God?

As we've seen in previous sermons, such as The Day of Acclamation, the steps that heralded the crowning of the new king over Israel or Judah in a physical manner, also foreshadowed the king to come in the spiritual realm. John 12:12 makes this plain.

(John 12:12-16 NASB) On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, {13} took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, "Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, even the King of Israel." {14} And Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, {15} "FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SEATED ON A DONKEY'S COLT." {16} These things His disciples did not understand at the first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.

In John 18:37, during his examination by Pontius Pilate, Jesus was asked directly if he was a king.

(John 18:37 NASB) Pilate therefore said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

Even the prophets of the Old Testament had prophesied for centuries about the coming kingdom of the Messiah. Isaiah 9:6 speaks of the reign of the coming King.

(Isa 9:6 NASB) For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders;

After he had passed the test, had died in our stead, been resurrected and accepted by the Father, we can see in Matthew 28:18 just how wide-ranging his power as king had become.

(Mat 28:18 NASB) And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Wait a minute. Jesus didn't say, "now I have a little authority" or even "now I have a bunch of authority." He said "ALL authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." Was that just a flippant statement made out of arrogance or conceit? No, it was right in line with pictures portrayed by the prophets, as we can see in Daniel 7:13 where we are presented with an advance view of the throne of the Father in heaven.

(Dan 7:13-14 NKJV) "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. {14} Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

Furthermore, Christ's statement about now possessing ALL authority also agrees with the further explanations of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15, the resurrection chapter, and in verse 27.

(1 Cor 15:27-28 NKJV) For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He [that's the Father] who put all things under Him is excepted. {28} Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
In John 5:19, Jesus responded to the Jews who wanted to kill him for healing on the Sabbath. In addition, they thought he was making himself equal to God by calling God his father. Throughout the remainder of chapter five, Jesus went into great detail about his subordinate relationship with the Father.
(John 5:19-30 KJV) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. {20} For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. {21} For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. {22} For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: {23} That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. {24} Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. {25} Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. {26} For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

So much for the Trinitarians who believe that God is three persons in one. If Christ were identical to the Father, then why did the Father have to give life to the Son. He obviously didn't already have life in himself.

Continue in verse 27.

(John 5:27-30 KJV) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. {28} Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, {29} And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. {30} I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

Now, does that sound to you like he was making himself equal with the Father? If you have any doubt, look at John 14:28 to see the simple, declarative statement from Jesus.

(John 14:28 KJV) Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

3. What are the laws in the Kingdom of God?

Even as the coming King of Kings was and is admittedly subordinate to the Father and seeks continually to do his will, just what is the Father's will? In John 7:16, Jesus responded to those accusing him. In the process, he also shed light on the will of the Father.

(John 7:16-19 NKJV) Jesus answered them and said, "My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. {17} "If anyone wants to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. {18} "He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him. {19} "Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?"

Notice that last part: "yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill me?" If there was any doubt about which part of the law is God's will, Jesus nailed it down when he asked why they sought to kill him. Murder is one of the ten commandments of God given to the Israelites through Moses. Christ said that, even though Moses gave them the will of God embodied in the ten commandments, none of them kept the law.

Yes, the law of God is the basis but the will of God goes beyond mere rote obedience. In Romans 12:1, Paul takes it a step further in applying the perfect will of God to the renewing of our minds.

(Rom 12:1-2 NKJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

So, it is by that renewed mind that the will of God is performed by obedience to his perfect laws. 1 John 3:4 defines rebellion from God's laws.

(1 John 3:4 NASB) Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

In John 9:31, the apostle John showed how sin, which is lawlessness, separates us from God.

(John 9:31 NKJV) "Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

God the Father, who is our benevolent dictator, only desires the best for all his subjects. 1 Thessalonians 4:1 further delineates what his will includes.

(1 Th 4:1-3 NKJV) Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; {2} for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. {3} For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

In the next chapter, Paul continues to define the will of God.

(1 Th 5:14-22 NKJV) Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. {15} See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. {16} Rejoice always, {17} pray without ceasing, {18} in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. {19} Do not quench the Spirit. {20} Do not despise prophecies. {21} Test all things; hold fast what is good. {22} Abstain from every form of evil.

Paul wasn't the only apostle who testified about the will of God. So, too, did Peter in 1 Peter 2:15.

(1 Pet 2:15 NKJV) For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men;

In 1 John 2:15, the apostle John told of the reward that awaits those who do the will of the Father.

(1 John 2:15-17 NKJV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. {16} For all that is in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. {17} And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

The Greek word for abide is Strong's number 3306, meno and it means "to stay." So, do you want to stay forever? Do you want a name that will last throughout the ages? God says you will abide forever if you do the will of God. What a promise!

4. Who are the subjects and how do they gain admittance to the Kingdom of God?

We shouldn't suppose that just anyone will be given admittance into the new world-ruling Kingdom of God. In Matthew 5:17, Christ made it clear that the level of God's righteousness defined by diligent commandment keeping and teaching will be the standard by which all men are judged.

(Mat 5:17-20 NKJV) "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. {18} "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. {19} "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. {20} "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

In another parable, Jesus also explained about the quality of the subjects in the Kingdom of God, such as the one in Matthew 13:24.

(Mat 13:24-30 NASB) He presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. {25} "But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. {26} "But when the wheat sprang up and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. {27} "And the slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' {28} "And he said to them, 'An enemy has done this!' And the slaves said to him, 'Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?' {29} "But he said, 'No; lest while you are gathering up the tares, you may root up the wheat with them. {30} 'Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn."'"

In Mark 10:13, the Kingdom of God was also described by Jesus as requiring an attitude of humility.

(Mark 10:13-16 NASB) And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them. {14} But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, "Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. {15} "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it at all." {16} And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands upon them.

Determination, tenacity, and steadfastness are also traits required for admittance into the Kingdom of God, as Christ taught in Luke 9:62.

(Luke 9:62 NASB) But Jesus said to him, "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

In Romans 14:17, Paul also spoke about standards required in the Kingdom of God.

(Rom 14:17 NASB) for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

If the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy, just what is righteousness? We can find that answer in Psalms 119:172.

(Psa 119:172 NKJV) My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 6:9, Paul went on the uphold the standards of righteousness required for admittance into the Kingdom of God.

(1 Cor 6:9-11 NASB) Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, {10} nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. {11} And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

In 2 Thessalonians 1:5, Paul further expounded on both the reward for upholding and the consequences for purposely rebelling against God's righteous standards.

(2 Th 1:5-10 NASB) This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. {6} For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, {7} and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, {8} dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. {9} And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, {10} when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed-- for our testimony to you was believed.

Proper judgment in the Kingdom of God

What more can we learn about the way of life in the Kingdom of God? Jesus had much to say about its qualities in his many parables. While he admitted that he taught the masses with parables to obscure the meaning, privately, he often revealed the true meanings to his disciples. Earlier, we read in Matthew 13:24, how Jesus told the parable of the tares, differentiating between the good and the evil.

In verse 37, Jesus privately told his disciples the meaning.

(Mat 13:37-43 NASB) And He answered and said, "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, {38} and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; {39} and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. {40} "Therefore just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. {41} "The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, {42} and will cast them into the furnace of fire; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. {43} "Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

So, judgment and proper discernment are also a part of the government of God. Not just anyone will be given admittance to the Kingdom of God and not just any type of lifestyle will be allowed to flourish. Mankind, who has been on his own quest for self-determination of truth apart from God, will be given the truth of God, straight from the source. Mankind will then be expected to live according to that truth, not because of a whim but because such a lifestyle is right and is in mankind's own best interests.

Continuing on the same theme of proper judgment and discernment in judging, in verse 47, Jesus told his disciples another parable.

(Mat 13:47-50 NKJV) "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, {48} "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. {49} "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, {50} "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

So often, people just read right over this parable in our day and age of so-called freedom from the Old Testament laws. In their quest to eat whatever they want, most Protestants fail to notice what is also being taught in this parable on both a physical and spiritual level. They see it simply as a separation of good and evil. So, it is; but it is also more. You see, there was discrimination. There was an evaluation, a determination, and a separation. They examined and identified all the fish in the net. It was by God's standards that they determined which fish were good and which were bad. How did they know? They knew by following God's instructions in his word. Part of those instructions are the dietary laws stated in Leviticus. By them, they were able to determine which fish were good for food and which were bad, which were clean and which were unclean. By their physical act, they were portraying a spiritual discernment and judgment yet to come.

Consistency of Government

Earlier we said that most people think the gospel message brought by Jesus was just a New Testament proclamation. In Luke 16:16, Jesus seems to have said that but was there more to it? Read it again.

(Luke 16:16 NASB) "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.

Let's take another look at a New Testament scripture that throws light on the subject in a different direction. When we defined the traits composing a kingdom, we mentioned the necessity to have laws and judgments. In fact, proper judgment and proper interpretation of laws is key to the administration of justice within any government. Jude spoke of the necessity for proper judgment among the saints, according to God's standards of righteousness. He went beyond the mere necessity though, when he hearkened back to an ancient time in man's early history when the warning to mankind was much the same. This time, we'll read from the New International Version.

(Jude 1:3-15 NIV) Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. {4} For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. {5} Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. {6} And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. {7} In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. {8} In the very same way, these dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings. {9} But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!" {10} Yet these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals--these are the very things that destroy them. {11} Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion. {12} These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead. {13} They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. {14} Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones {15} to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him."

You see, all the way back to almost the very beginning of mankind, the message being proclaimed was the same: the King will return with his saints to properly judge the whole world according to God's righteous standards and to diligently and mercifully separate the good from the evil.

It's the same message throughout the Bible and all the way to the end, as well. In Revelation 2:25, we can see how tells his obedient servants how they will assist him in the Kingdom of God.

(Rev 2:25-27 NKJV) "But hold fast what you have till I come. {26} "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations; {27} 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'; as I also have received from My Father;

In Revelation 19:11, we see the entrance of the great King to execute the will of the Father in judging the whole world.

(Rev 19:11-16 NKJV) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. {12} His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. {13} He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. {14} And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. {15} Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. {16} And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Today we've reviewed scriptures we all have read many times. There wasn't anything dramatically new in what we discussed; but so often, scriptures with which we are all familiar may be the same scriptures we so easily gloss over without appreciating the full intent of meaning behind the words. So it is with those portraying the Kingdom of God. We are here at the Feast of Tabernacles for the very purpose of celebrating its soon arrival; but in that celebration, we may lose our sharp focus on the goal. It may become a little fuzzy to us. Sure, we strive for the goal but that goal may become a bit of a "fairy tale" destination. Hopefully, the destination has become a bit clearer for you today.

We spoke earlier about the quality of a king. A king can be a tyrant or a king can be one who is benevolent, who seeks good for all his subjects and rules with their best interests at heart. Our father, and his son as faithful executor, is just such a benevolent king. He seeks the best for all men, as we can read in 1 Timothy 2:3.

(1 Tim 2:3-4 NKJV) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, {4} who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

May God speed that day when all can freely come to the knowledge of the truth.

Sermon given by Philip Edwards
Feast of Tabernacles
September 28, 2007
Copyright 2007, Philip Edwards

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