Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Full restoration/The outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Promised Kingdom

The restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven was promised to the Hebrew nation, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was included in those promises. The Old Testament prophecies not only predicted complete agricultural and animal restoration but, also, that the wealth of the Gentile world would flow to Israel.

Zech 14:14...And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.

In Luke's record Jesus said,

Luke 6:38...Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

This restoration of all things to Israel was in perfect harmony with keeping the Law of God. If Israel would keep the Law of God, they would prosper. This is consistent with the book of Joshua, which declares,

Josh 1:8...This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Unfortunately, since Israel could not keep the Law, they could not prosper according to the Law. The only thing that could cause them to prosper was to receive the divine nature by accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah. They needed to be born again, not by the waters of the Red Sea as they were born the first time of water, but by another birth from above, the birth from the Spirit. Only this birth of the Spirit would enable the Jews to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Before the captivity in 606 B.C., Joel prophesied the full restoration of everything Adam lost in the Garden, including a divine nature and man's complete rule over the natural laws of earth.

After the captivity, the prophets spoke of a partial restoration; only the land that God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be restored. Then the heathen would come up from year to year to worship Christ in Jerusalem and full prosperity would be in the land God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, since Israel rejected the King and the Kingdom, their land was not restored.

The restoration of Israel's land and Kingdom was intended to cause the heathen world to recognize the power of God, resulting in restoration of all the land on earth and not just the land of promise.

Had Israel accepted the Messiahship of Jesus, the Spirit would have been poured out upon all flesh in Israel, and everyone in Israel would have known the Lord, and no man would teach men about God all would know Him.

Jer 31:34...And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

The Holy Spirit was not limited to the Jews and Gentiles only...

In the Old Testament, the Spirit was promised only to the Hebrew nation. That is the reason Peter could not understand that the Gentiles could also receive the Spirit.

Acts 10:45...and they of the circumcision, which believed, were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.

The circumcised Jews with Peter were astonished that the Gentiles had received the Spirit. They certainly had not expected them to, yet they heard them speak in tongues just as Peter and the Apostles did at Pentecost. It is significant that Peter was not even willing to preach the Gospel to these Gentiles until God gave him a vision and the Spirit led him.

The reason the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit was because Israel, as a nation, had rejected the Messiahship of Jesus and, therefore, was cut off from the natural olive tree. This allowed the Gentiles to be grafted in... thus fulfilling the promise given to Abraham that..."In thy seed (which is Christ), shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."

Gen 22:18...and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

When the Apostles asked Jesus in Acts 1:6, "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" Which Kingdom were they referring to? Certainly, not the Kingdom of God, which is God's rule over man. On the contrary, they were speaking about the earthly, visible reign of Christ on the throne of David. They expected the visible Kingdom to be restored on earth. In one sense, they had a right to expect that, since Joel's prophecies were not to be fulfilled until the restoration of the land.

There are in the Old Testament records:

559 prophesies which God said He would "gather" the Nation of Israel and return them to the Promised Land.
72 other times He said He would "establish" them
12 times He said they would not be "plucked up" anymore.

Prophecy after prophecy foretold that when the land was restored and Israel was gathered out of the graves of the nations, then God would put his Spirit within Israel. So the Spirit was to be given when Israel had their kingdom restored, and this kingdom is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, the full restoration is yet to come! Israel's kingdom is to be restored-not the Church. Without the King, Israel could not have either kingdom. Why? Because the Kingdom of God will not come unless Christ is accepted as King, and man cannot rule earth until Christ establishes the Kingdom of Heaven.

There is a distinct difference in Peter's approach in Acts 2 when he preached to the Hebrew nation and in Acts10 where he preached to the Gentile world. His approach to the Hebrew nation is based upon the Jewish prophets, Joel, and David. He does not quote the prophets to the Gentiles. Paul refers to Peter's apostleship to the Jewish nation and speaks that God also worked mightily in his ministry to the uncircumcised Gentiles. The Spirit was to take Jew and Gentile alike and put them both into the Body of Christ after Pentecost. Both Jew and Gentile can now receive the Spirit because we are living in the Age of the Church.

In this Age when someone accepts Christ as Redeemer, God rules their heart in what is properly called the Kingdom of God and will return again to give them the Kingdom of Heaven.

Our emphasis today should be on preaching the Kingdom of God because it is God's rule over man. It is man having a holy heart, having been renewed in the image of the Creator. When Israel rejected the Messiahship of Jesus, they rejected the Kingdom of God. Those Gentiles who accept the message of the death, burial, and resurrection have the Kingdom of God now and are looking for Christ to return and establish heaven's reign on earth.

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