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THE MILLENNIAL OR MESSIANIC KINGDOM

PART 3: THE TWO FOUNDATIONAL REALITIES

By Norman Manzon

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: The Inhabitants of the Kingdom
Part 3: The Two Foundational Realities
Part 4: The Kingdom Environment
Part 5: Israel in the Promised Land
Part 6: Worship in the Kingdom
Part 7: Significance of the Kingdom



The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory
of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

~ Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14 ~

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
AMC STATEMENT
VIII. THE RENOVATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
A. WILL THE HEAVEN OF GOD BE RENOVATED?
B. AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION
C. WHEN WILL THE RENOVATION TAKE PLACE?
IX. THE DIVINE PRESENCE
A. THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
B. THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
X. SUMMING UP
FOOTNOTES
RECOMMENDED READING

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

The Messianic Kingdom is part of an extended series of studies in support of the We Believe statement of The Association of Messianic Congregations. Much groundwork for this present study has been laid in The Messianic Kingdom - Part 1: Introduction and Part 2: The Inhabitants of the Kingdom. In addition to presenting recapitulations of future events that will take place prior to the Kingdom, they also address key aspects of the Kingdom that are foundational to the material presented here. It is therefore urged that they be reviewed so that the present study may be understood in the contexts addressed. For even greater detail concerning pre-Kingdom events, it is suggested that the following studies be read or reviewed: The Destinies of the Dead, The Rapture, The Great Tribulation and The Second Coming of the Lord.

It must be reiterated that the prophesied Kingdom is a literal, earthly Kingdom in which Yeshua will reign bodily as king over Israel and the world. An extended polemic to this effect is presented in section IV of The Messianic Kingdom - Part 1: Introduction.

We will begin with a restatement of those declarations in the AMC statement that have relevance to the Kingdom. Those aspects of it that have not yet been addressed will be addressed in this and subsequent studies.

AMC STATEMENT: KINGDOM EXCERPTS [1]

The Tri-Unity

Part 2: God the Son
We believe that God the Son became flesh in the person of Yeshua of Nazareth, the promised Messiah of Israel, who was conceived of the Spirit of God and born of the Jewish virgin, Miriam (Mary). We believe in His full deity and full humanity, His sinless life, and His miracles. We believe that Messiah Yeshua arose from the dead bodily, ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father, making intercession for believers. He will come again in glory establishing His literal Millennial kingdom on earth. (Isaiah 9:6,7; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Micah 5:2; Luke 1:26-79)

Israel

We believe Israel is God's special people, distinct from the body of Messiah, chosen by Him to be a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. The election of Israel is irrevocable. . . . We believe the Abrahamic Covenant is an irrevocable, unconditional covenant God made with Jewish people. This covenant provides title to the land of Israel for the Jewish people and promises a descendant (the Messiah) who would come to redeem Israel and bless the entire world. The spiritual blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant overflow to all the nations. God will ultimately fulfill every aspect of the covenant in the Messianic Kingdom, both physical and spiritual. . . . (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-21; Romans 11:1-29)

Last Things

We believe in the personal, bodily, visible, and pre-millennial return of the Lord Yeshua. At that time He will lift the corruption which now rests upon the whole of creation, totally restore Israel to her own land, give her the realization of God's covenanted promises and bring the whole world to the knowledge of God. We believe in the bodily resurrection of all men. . . . (Daniel 9:24-27; Matthew 24:30; Acts 1:11; Romans 8:19-23; 11:25-27; Titus 2:13)

Beyond all other factors, two will dominate the Kingdom: the renovation of the heavens and the earth, which will determine the physical environment of the Kingdom, and the divine presence, which will determine its spiritual environment.

VIII. THE RENOVATION OF THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH

For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former things will not be remembered or come to mind (Isaiah 65:17). Also 2 Peter 3:13, which references the Isaiah verse: But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

A. WILL THE HEAVEN OF GOD BE RENOVATED?

It is clear that the earth will be renovated, but not so clear as to which heavens will be renovated. This may be illustrated by John Gill's comment regarding the word heaven in the Genesis 1:1 creation account: "By the heaven some understand the supreme heaven, the heaven of heavens, the habitation of God, and of the holy angels." [2] If some "understand" that the heaven of creation is God's Heaven, then some may also understand that the heavens of the Isaiah and Peter passages may include God's Heaven. Let us consider the matter.

There are those who believe that Scripture speaks of two heavens. One is the Heaven where God dwells: He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God (Matthew 16:16), and the other refers to all of the universe that is above the surface of the earth, which we commonly refer to as the atmosphere (atmosphere-stratosphere-ionosphere) and outer space. If it is true that there are but two heavens, then it would seem that one of the heavens that will be necessarily be renovated is the Heaven where God dwells - but there are other factors to consider.

Firstly, in 2 Corinthians 12:2, Paul writes of a third heaven: I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago - whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows - such a man was caught up to the third heaven.

The People's New Testament comments, "The third heaven. A Jewish expression for that heaven which was beyond (1) the air, and (2) beyond the sun and stars; the secret place of the Almighty."

Albert Barnes (Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible) agrees:

The Bible speaks of but three heavens, and among the Jews in the apostolic ages also the heavens were divided into three: (1) The aerial, including the clouds and the atmosphere, the heavens above us, until we come to the stars. (2) the starry heavens, the heavens in which the sun, moon, and stars appear to be situated. (3) the heavens beyond the stars. That heaven was supposed to be the residence of God, of angels, and of holy spirits.

This being the case, then the heavens of the Isaiah 65:17 and 2 Peter 3:13 could easily refer to the two heavens of the atmosphere and outer space, exclusive of the Heaven where God dwells.

Secondly, heaven in the Hebrew is always in the plural even when it is used in such phrases as birds of heaven (1 Kings 21:24) - and birds can exist only in the atmosphere, one heaven; and the stars of heaven (Genesis 26:4) - and the stars of the night sky exist only in outer space, one heaven. It is because heaven in the Hebrew is always in the plural that Genesis 1:1 is often translated, In the beginning, God created the heaven (singular) and the earth, and often, In the beginning, God created the heavens (plural) and the earth. Therefore, even if one holds the two heaven view, heavens can still refer solely to the single heaven of the natural world, the atmosphere-outer space heaven, exclusive of the Heaven of God.

To sum up thus far, whether one holds the two-heaven or three-heaven view, the renovation does not need to include the Heaven where
God dwells.

Yet, the question remains unanswered: Will God's Heaven be among those heavens that will be renovated? But why would it have to be renovated? Can it even be defiled or corrupted?

Hebrews 9:11-12 tells us that, after His crucifixion, Messiah cleansed the tabernacle in Heaven with His own blood:

11. But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; 12. and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Whether Heaven itself was actually defiled by Satan's rebellion and subsequent activity there (such as his slander of Job or accusation of the brethren in our present age) or whether Hebrews 9:11-12 is a picture of the acceptance of Messiah's sacrifice by God, one thing is certain: When Messiah cleansed the heavenly tabernacle through His own blood, He cleansed it of all possible satanic defilement there whether by sins committed by Satan past or future to that event - just as He cleanses us of all defilement through His own blood at the moment of our salvation whether by sins committed by us past or future to that event. The point is this: Whether Heaven is impervious to defilement or whether it was cleansed of defilement, it will not need to be renovated because of defilement.

Romans 8:22-23 lends clarity to what will be renovated:

22. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

It is the matter-energy-space-time creation that groans and suffers because of the curse of sin, and it will do so until our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body, meaning that after the saints receive their glorified bodies at the Rapture, the Lord will move to bring about those conditions that will set the stage for the renovation of our present curse-ridden physical universe.

The Heaven where God dwells will not be included in the renovation. What will be renovated will be the physical universe that now bears the curse of sin, which leads us to consider an important distinction.

B. AN IMPORTANT DISTINCTION

These new heavens and new earth must be distinguished from the new heaven and new earth introduced in Revelation 21:1 and described in chapters 21 and 22, for two reasons:

1. Peter presents the new heaven and new earth as following on the heels of the Great Tribulation, whereas Revelation 21 and 22 present a new heaven and new earth that will follow the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Kingdom Age.

2. The context of Isaiah 65:17 presents imperfections in the Kingdom even after the renovation, to wit, death (verse 20) and the Adamic curse on the serpent (verse 25); but Revelation 21 and 22 present a state that is immaculate, the perfectly flawless state of the Eternal Ages.

C. WHEN WILL THE RENOVATION TAKE PLACE?

During the seventy-five day interval between the Great Tribulation and the Kingdom Age, the Lord will purge the earth by the removal of the Abomination of Desolation from the Temple, the casting of the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire, the casting of Satan into the abyss, and the casting of the goat Gentiles into the Lake of Fire; and the Lord's pattern throughout Scripture is to first purge by judgment and then rebuild. Evidently then, the renovation will take place at some point or duration of time after this purging. However, this does not clarify whether the renovation will take place before the end of the seventy-five day period, during the Kingdom, or begin before the end of the seventy-five day interval and continue on into the Millennium. But let's consider further.

Every indication in Scripture is that the entire thousand years of the Kingdom will be characterized by a marvelously renewed earth. Consider, for example, Micah 4:4: Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken. Can it be imagined that conditions during any part of the Millennium would be otherwise? It would appear, therefore, that the renovation must be completed before the Millennium begins.

From these clues we can safely conclude that the renovation will take place at some point or duration of time after the Lord purges the earth during the seventy-five day interval and before the beginning of the Millennium.

But what of Matthew 19:28? Yeshua said to Peter, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

To clarify, regeneration here does not refer to the regeneration of human spirits, but to the renovation of the heavens and the earth. (According to the IVP Bible Background Commentary, "'Regeneration' was a term used for the future renewal of the world in Greek circles and naturally applied to Jewish expectations of a new world order.") But does the regeneration refer to the period when the regeneration would take place over a period of time, or does it refer to the period when the regeneration will already have taken place?

Of the thirty or so translations I have examined, many are ambiguous, as the NASB translation of Matthew 19:28, above, and a few would cause one to believe that the renovation will take place during the Kingdom; but far more translate it as referring to the period after which the renovation had already taken place, that is, the Kingdom. For example, in the new age (AMP); in the future world (CEV); in the regenerated world (CEJ); the time of the new world (ERV); in the New Age (GNB); in the world to come (GW); in the renewed creation (ISV); in the new world (Murdock). Consistent with these translations, John Gill refers to the regeneration as "the new state of things."

It is safe to say that the renovation of the new heavens and the new earth will take place at some point or duration of time after the purging of the earth during the seventy-five day period, and before the commencement of the Kingdom Age.

IX. THE DIVINE PRESENCE

As the renovation of the earth will characterize and determine the physical environment of the Kingdom, so will the nature of the divine presence on earth - specifically, the overwhelming and dominating influence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit - characterize the Kingdom's spiritual environment.

Various aspects of the presence and sway of these two divine Persons will be addressed in due time, as will aspects of the renovated earth, but now we'll look at some chief passages that prophesy their presence.

A. THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST

Although the Lord had been physically present on earth in various appearances as the Angel of the LORD (Genesis 16:7-14; Genesis 22:11-18; Judges 5:23; 2 Kings 19:35; et al) and during His sojourn as Jesus, He had never on any of those occasions reigned as King; but in the Kingdom He will reign as King over Israel and over the whole earth.

Some of the passages that prophesy the kingship and sway of the Lord during the Kingdom Age are as follows. The sequence of events in these passages overlap, but I have set them in chronological order according to their key thrusts:

God Promises the Son the Throne of David

31. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33. and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.

~ Luke 1:31-33 ~

From the Great Tribulation to the Kingdom

1. Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3. "Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!" 4. He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5. Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6. "But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain." 7. "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8. 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9. 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'" 10. Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11. Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

~ Psalm 2:1-12 ~

King of Kings and Lord of Lords

11. And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

~ Revelation 19:11-16 ~

The King Will Sit on His Throne
But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (Matthew 25:31)

The Kingdom Is Established

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever."

~ Revelation 11:15 ~

B. THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Though the Spirit had been present on earth both before and during the days of Jesus, He will be present in an overwhelming way in the Kingdom as prophesied in these Old Testament passages presented in the order in which they appear in Scripture: [4]

15. Until the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field is considered as a forest. 16. Then justice will dwell in the wilderness and righteousness will abide in the fertile field.

~ Isaiah 32:15-16 ~

1. But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen. . . . 3b. I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring and My blessing on your descendants.

~ Isaiah 44:1-3b ~

28. "Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. 29. I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I will have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

~ Ezekiel 39:28-29 ~

28. "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days . . . . 3:1. When I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem.

~ Joel 2:28 - 3:1 ~

10. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication. . . . 13:1. In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.

~ Zechariah 12:10-13:1 ~

Technically, the Zechariah event will take place near the end of the Tribulation; but we can be sure that the Spirit poured out upon Israel then will remain with them throughout the Kingdom because during that period and beyond they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them (Jeremiah 31:34).

These two Persons, who hold the authority of Creators of the earth, will exercise their authority in the Kingdom in marvelous ways. The result of their sway? The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14).

X. SUMMING UP

The renovation of the heavens and the earth and the presence of the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit operating in their full authority are the two foundational realities that together will constitute the physical and spiritual environments of the Kingdom and set the tone for all else that will take place on earth during the Kingdom Age.


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Scriptures chosen by the author are in the New American Standard version unless otherwise noted. Scriptures in quotes by others may be in different translations. Names, titles and other terms within quoted scriptures and elsewhere may have been changed from the English to the Hebrew form for the sake of cultural sensitivity.


FOOTNOTES

1. The entire We Believe statement of the Association of Messianic Congregations may be found at http://www.messianicassociation.org/believe.htm.

2. Gill, John. Exposition of the Whole Bible.

3. Compare formless and void in Genesis 1:2 with the its uses in Jeremiah 4:23-24 and the use of desolation and emptiness in Isaiah 34:11. For a complete discussion, see Dr. Fruchtenbaum's Messianic Bible Study 186: The Seven Days of Creation, listed below.

4. In Steven Ger's The Book of Acts: Witnesses to the World, (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers,2004), chapter 1, subsection Spirit and Kingdom, Steven writes, "Another reason the apostles would have asked their question is that the Davidic Kingdom, the kingdom of God, is linked five times in the Hebrew Scriptures with the return of the Holy Spirit, the Shekinah glory of the Lord, to Israel (Is. 32:15-20, 44:3-5, Ezek 39:28-29, Joel 2:28-3:1, Zech 12:10-13:1)."

RECOMMENDED READING

By Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum
1. The Footsteps of the Messiah: A Study of the Sequence of Prophetic Events. Many consider Footsteps a landmark work in the piecing together of end-time prophecy.
2. Messianic Bible Study 002: The Jews and the Tribulation
3. Messianic Bible Study 003: The Basis of the Second Coming of the Messiah
4. Messianic Bible Study 004: The Campaign of Armageddon
5. Messianic Bible Study 010: The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist
6. Messianic Bible Study 017: The Messianic Kingdom
7. Messianic Bible Study 018: Israel and the Messianic Kingdom
8. Messianic Bible Study 028: The Olivet Discourse
9. Messianic Bible Study 034: The Bible and Divine Revelation
10. Messianic Bible Study 038: The Sequence of Pretribulational Events
11. Messianic Bible Study 039: The Rapture of the Church
12. Messianic Bible Study 062: The Feasts of Israel
13. Messianic Bible Study 067: The Seventy Sevens of Daniel
14. Messianic Bible Study 075: The Resurrection of the Messiah
14. Messianic Bible Study 084: The Four Women of Revelation
15. Messianic Bible Study 113: The Jewish Wedding System and the Bride of the Messiah
16. Messianic Bible Study 186: The Seven Days of Creation

All of Dr. Fruchtenbaum's publications are available at Ariel Ministries in various formats, many for free listening.

By Norman Manzon
1. The Prophetic Feasts of Israel.
2. The Faithful Remnant of Israel.


The Messianic Kingdom:
The Two Foundational Realities
~ a messianic Bible study ~
© Norman Manzon, 2014.
All rights reserved.

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