... Jerusalem ... 22 Just as the new earth and the new heavens will endure by my power, so your descendants and your name will endure ... Isaiah 66 (GNT), 18 ... Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its PALACE restored. Jeremiah 30:18 (GNT)

22
February
2011

Daniel 2: The Kingdom of God on earth? Part 1 of 2

The book of Daniel chapter 2 tells us about a different kingdom that will be established on earth.
Daniel 2 verse 44 tells us more about the nature of this kingdom. It will be established by God Almighty, it will endure for ever, it will fill the whole world and it will never be conquered. Where will God Almighty establish his Kingdom? Will God do this with and for the Israelites, the Christians, other peoples? And what will be its purpose?

The land of Israel, the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of Jerusalem

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that got him worried. God Almighty gave this dream and the meaning of it to Daniel. The dream was about a kingdom that will be established on earth. Daniel verse 34 and 35 tells us that a stone broke lose from a cliff without anyone touching it. The stone struck the feet of a big statue, it symbolized the several empires in human history up to now, and shattered it. All that remained of the statue was dust that got carried away by the wind. But the stone itself grew to be a mountain that covered the whole world. Where will God establish His Kingdom? He will establish it the land Israel. Why? It was and still is his choice.

Abraham received this land from God Almighty. Genesis 12 verses 1 to 9, tells us how Abraham, a Hebrew, was called by God to go to Canaan. He would give this land to him and his descendants, whom will become a great nation. Genesis chapter 15 tells us about the covenant that God made with Abraham when he arrived in Canaan. And about what will happen to his descendants in the future. Referring to what later would happen to them in Egypt and their return to the land of Canaan after 400 years. The land was called Israel after Abraham's grandson Jacob, who received this name from God (Genesis 32: 28).

When the descendants of Abraham returned to their land, after some time their second king, King David, made the city of Jerusalem the capital city of Israel. The book of Deuteronomy chapter 12 verses 10 to 12 tells us that God himself would chose a single place in Israel where he would want to be worshiped. Jerusalem was chosen by God to be his own, as we can read in the first book of Kings chapter 11 verse 32. And it is written in Psalm 132 verses 13 to 14: For the Lord has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling: This is my resting place for ever and ever; here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it.

King David also made the preparations for a Temple where God Almighty would be worshiped. His son King Solomon built it in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah. It is the same place where God told Abraham to take his son Isaac (Genesis 22:1-19). And it is also the same place that King David bought and where he built an altar on God's request, through his prophet Gad (2 Samuel 24:18-25). The prophet Isaiah calls the Temple, a place of prayer for all peoples (Isaiah 56 verse 7). And Zechariah 14 verse 16 mentions that even the enemies of Israel would come to celebrate the Festival of Shelters, one of God's tree pilgrimage feasts. So all peoples are invited to come and worship God at his Temple in Jerusalem, Israel.

What it meant for the people of Israel to worship God Almighty and to pray at the Temple? King Salomon said in his prayer, mentioned in 1 Kings 8 verse 30: “Hear the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.”


The Israelites

The Israelites are the people who inherited the land of Israel. Who are these people?

- They are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (also called Israel, Genesis 32:28) and Jacob's twelve sons. - Genesis chapters 48 and 49 speaks of the blessings Jacob gave his sons and two grandchildren (children of Joseph), whom he adopted as his son.

- They are God Almighty's eldest son, as mentioned in Exodus chapter 4 verses 22 and 23. To be the eldest son means you carry a heavier responsibility from your Father.

- God the Father chose them for himself to care for them instead of assigning them to the care of angels, like he did with other nations. The song of Moses mentions this in Deuteronomy chapter 32 verses 8 to 9.

- They are called the apple of God's eye, as Deuteronomy chapter 32 verse 10 tells us.

- God gave them the covenants. Also the new covenant as Jeremiah 31 verses 31 to 34 clearly states. Notice Jeremiah 31 verse 31 says:

"The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a n e w covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.”

Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) talked about the new covenant with his disciples, Israelites (Lucas 20:20). As for the covenant mentioned in Genesis 9 verses 1 to 17, God made with Noah and his sons, it was for all their descendants. That means also for the Israelites.

- They are God's friends, as written in Romans 11 verse 28. Paul stated in Romans verses 25 and 26 that the whole of Israel will be saved (God's business with them).

- Paul, in Romans 9 verses 4 to 5a, summarizes who the Israelites are as follows:

… the people of Israel.
Theirs is the adoption as sons;
theirs the divine glory,
the covenants,
the receiving of the law,
the temple worship and the promises.
Theirs are the patriarchs, ...


The non-Israelites

What does biblical scripture say about non-Israelites in relation to the Israelites? They would share in the blessings of Israel. Psalm 87 speaks of this. And it is written in Genesis chapter 12 verses 2 and 3; God told Abraham:

"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you."

So all non-Israelites were (still are) invited to come to share in the blessings of Israel. They are all invited to worship God Almighty, the God of Israel, The Father, and to pray asking him for his blessings, at the Temple in Jerusalem. Even before there was a Temple, God said this would happen (Genesis 22 verse 18). Later they could go to the outer courts of the Temple. King Salomon who built the first temple said it like this:

"As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name- for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm- when he comes and prays toward this temple, then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that this house I have built bears your Name.”
1 Kings 8: 41- 43.

What about the Christians?
They also share as non-Israelites in the blessings of Israel. The book of Romans chapter 11 verse 24 mentions that they are like branches of a wild olive tree that has been broken of and joined to the cultivated olive tree, which are the Israelites. They cannot replace the cultivated olive tree. But they can share in the nourishment (blessings) its root provides. And in Romans chapter 11 verse 20, Paul tells Christians not to be arrogant, proud. In other words, to be humble and know one's place when it comes to the Almighty Fathers choices and wishes. For in a family, children don't normally get to choose who their brothers and sisters are. Nor who there adoptive brothers and sisters will be.

Are there examples of non-Israelite individuals who worshiped God Almighty and were blessed by him through Israelites? Yes, Ruth who married Boaz and later became King David's grandmother. Her story is written in the book of Ruth. She was the one who said, as written in Ruth 1:16c:
“Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

And a captain in the Roman regiment called Cornelius (Acts chapter 10) who became a Christian.

I believe God has been blessing people and nations through the Israelites and Israel to this day. What did Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) had to say about Gods Kingdom on earth, and the Israelites? About the Jews (he himself was a Jew) he said, as mentioned in John chapter 4 verse 22: they know whom they worship and salvation is from the Jews. As for the Kingdom of God, he told his followers (disciples) to pray for it to come and for Gods will to be done on earth as in heaven (Matthew 6:10).


The institution: Church

Is there anything to say about the institution called the Church? Not individual Christians in general. Remember God Almighty already made his choices. He chose the land, the city, the place (the Temple in Jerusalem) and the people through whom he would bless other peoples and their nations. He also put his set times in his feasts, some are pilgrimage feasts.  Leviticus 23, amongst other passages in biblical scripture, speaks of these. The book of Revelation tells us that John received massages from God to give to congregations, assemblies, communities of believers and worshipers of God Almighty. Not for an institution called Church.

And the people of Israel were also referred to as an assembly congregation (according to the King James Version of the bible). Exodus 12 verse 6 says:
… and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall …
.
And Psalm 74 verse 2 tells us:
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

Joel 2 verse 16 says:
Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

And Yeshua Messiah always talked about his followers. He and his followers went to synagogues and to the Temple. Some Israelites rejected him but not all of them. Cornelius, who was a Roman, worshiped God Almighty with his entire house hold, before he sent for Peter (Acts 10: 1, 2). Where was the place to worship God in those days? It was the Temple in Jerusalem. The book of Acts doesn't speak of the institution Church. So where did this institution come from?

The Roman Emperor Constantine the first convened a conference of Christian leaders in Nicea in AD 325. At this first Council of Nicea they decided that all Christians should basically let go of their ties to the Jewish faith. Instead of keeping pace with the weekly Shabbat, which was partly on Saturday, they decided to have a rest day on Sunday (by the way there are also Shabbats on other days). Certain feasts would be celebrated on different dates than God's feasts given to the Israelites. In fact all this, amongst others, resulted in not using the Jewish moon-calendar anymore, so not to depend on them anymore. The Church as an institution that has started to replace all that God Almighty already provided was borne. It even resulted in replacing the country, city and Temple where God already had chosen for him self to be worshiped.

Nowadays at least three cities, countries, where there are religious institutions doing this can be mentioned. They became an image, a substitution, just an imitation of what is real, that which God already had provided for. I believe this is a process that has been going on for centuries. And that it will reach its boiling point in the future, as described in biblical scripture, for example in the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation. The image mentioned in the passage of Revelation 13 verse 15 does come to mind. There are also events in recent history. An example of such an event: what happened to the Israelites at the time of the Second World War, while certain religious institutions did not speak out to help them? But by God's grace there were people, also individual Christians, who did put their lives at risk to help them.

Did this process of creating an image and a substitution for God Almighty and what he has provided happen before? Yes, Jeroboam did the same thing hundreds of years before Constantine. We can read about how God made Jeroboam king over the 10 tribes of Israel in the book of 1 Kings chapter 11 verses 26 to 40. And in 1 Kings chapter 12 verses 25 to 33 we can read how Jeroboam brought changes contrary to God's wishes. He even replaced God Almighty for another god. Why? Because in his disobedience to God he wanted to stay in power and gain more of it. Was this also Constantine's reason? There is at least one more leader who did the same thing. He also changed the character of God completely by stating that God Almighty does not have a son and there for he is not a father. In doing so, he rejected and replaced God the Father who does care for his children. Another modern day version of someone setting up a religion is Adolf Hitler: Hitler's occult religion.

I believe that whatever anyone does or believe, God Almighty will keep all his promises to his people, the Israelites, so they can continue to be a blessing to others. So He will bring his Kingdom to earth. He wants to dwell amongst his people. As written in Psalm 46, notice verse 4:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.


The earth: big enough?

But Is the earth big enough for God? Didn't Salomon ask the question whether God could really live on earth (1 Kings 8:27)? And the prophet Isaiah said God's words by saying:
“heaven is my throne and the earth my footstool.”
(Isaiah 66:1 / Matthew 5: 34 and 35, Yeshua added: and Jerusalem the city of the King.). Still in Salomon's prayer he makes clear that it is God's choice that people should come and worship him and pray at the Temple  (1 Kings 8: 28-30).

But it is written in John chapter 4 verse 21; Yeshua declared: "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.” A time is coming. What time? I believe the time that Ezekiel and John mentioned in the book of Ezekiel and Revelation. Ezekiel speaks of Jerusalem, Ezekiel 48 verse 35, which will be named: “The-lord-is-here” And he also tells us of the stream that flows from the Temple and its purpose in Ezekiel 47 verses 1 and 8 to 12. John in turn speaks of a period even further away in time than Ezekiel tells us. Revelation 22:1-5 and 21:22-27, tells us the following. There will be a river flowing from God's throne and Jerusalem will have no temple anymore. God and the Lamb will be the Temple of Jerusalem. And the glory of God will shine on Jerusalem.

I believe God Almighty will restore Israel's Kingdom as mentioned in the book of Ezekiel chapters 37 to 39, for his purpose of bringing his Kingdom to earth (Daniel 2). I also believe that before the Gog Magog war (Armageddon) there will be a period of peace for Israel that will be acquired through a war that will force Israel to defend itself and will result in expansion of its territory. Amos 9:11-12 speaks of this, and notice that this passage mentions Edom. I expect their will be signs in heaven and on earth as well. Revelation chapter 6 verses 12 to 14 (the 6th seal will be opened) and Isaiah chapter 34 verses 1 to 5 tells us about the same type of signs in heaven. Notice Isaiah mentions a combination of these signs with a war with Edom. There is information that points out that there are eclipses that are going to happen in the near future, which are linked to God's feasts.

We know that God doesn't do anything without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). But God Almighty is the one who knows everything for sure. We are expecting the Jewish Messiah, for there is a multitude of gods (1 Corinthians 8:5) and their messiahs. Whether we are expecting Yeshua Messiah to come for the first or the second time, fact of faith is he is coming.

"In the time of those kings,

the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed,

nor will it be left to another people.

It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end,

but it will itself endure forever.”
Daniel 2: 44

God bless you,


Related Articles
Daniel 2: the meek shall inherit the earth! Heaven can wait!? Part 2 of 2
Israel: one nation, one throne
Israel's KINGship: "Joseph and Judah, forgive to be blessed"
The gathering of God's first-born
The Unshaken Kingdom
Sjabbat also for Christians
End Times: heavenly for Christians or a time of gathering God's people?

Author: © Mrs A. vd Laan-LeitoPosted in: Recommended