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Kingdom of God: Past, Present, and Future Dr. James Stone

Kingdom of God: Past, Present, and Future

Dr. James Stone

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 About the Book 

More than 700 years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah was able to look into the future and prophesy, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains . .MoreMore than 700 years before the birth of Christ, the prophet Isaiah was able to look into the future and prophesy, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains . . . .” A younger contemporary of Isaiah, Micah, prophesied about the same event: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established . . . .” The phrases, “in the last days” and “the mountain of the house of the Lord” have always sparked the quest to understand the establishment of the “mountain of the house of the Lord” and exactly when it would occur.Several years after Isaiah and Micah, Daniel, revealing the dream of the king of Babylon, again spoke of “a great mountain [that would fill] the whole earth.” In the interpretation, the “mountain” is revealed to be the coming kingdom of God “which shall never be destroyed” and “stand for ever.” The interpretation, also, revealed when it would be established. God would destroy the kingdoms of men and establish His own kingdom by sending His Son into their world.After revealing that the head of fine gold represented the king of Babylon, Daniel proceeded to reveal how the kingdoms of men would degenerate from brilliance to drabness, from strength to weakness. The golden age of man declined through silver, brass, iron, and finally to a mixture of iron and clay until it would be broken and scattered by the wind. And in the aftermath, “shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed . . . and it shall stand for ever.” Daniel’s interpretation of the coming kingdom of God set the standard for Israel’s prophets in the following centuries. They also prophesied of the coming Messiah (the anointed One) to establish His reign of peace, joy, and righteousness in the kingdom of God. For Daniel and all the succeeding prophets, the establishment of God’s kingdom would be the consummation of the ages.The expectation of the long awaited Messiah who would come to destroy evil and establish a kingdom of righteousness began in the days of Abraham, patriarch of the Jewish nation. God promised a great nation would come to Abraham and his descendants. The nation would be blessed by God. He would not only bless the descendants of Abraham, but he promised to bless the people that would honor and revere the nation that God would establish. He also promised to curse the people who would curse this nation. This promise of God to Abraham forever produced in his descendants the expectations of a coming kingdom of God that would be blessed and protected by God Himself.The descendants of Abraham have never been confused by the fact that God had promised a coming kingdom of peace, prosperity, and justice. The wrongs of evil would be punished and the righteousness of the good would be rewarded. This expectation and hope has grounded the people of God for centuries.The confusion occurs as to when this promised kingdom would be experienced in all of its glory. Since the topic of the kingdom of God is once again so prevalent in the preaching of many today, perhaps a fresh look back to the earliest writings of Christianity would be beneficial. In that record, it can be seen that the main topic of the preaching of Jesus was the kingdom of God. The earliest written history of the church begins and ends with statements concerning the kingdom of God. It can be justifiably set forth from those records that the kingdom of God experienced by the disciples of Jesus was the basis for the radical change in their lives.During the preaching of Jesus, He spoke so much on the kingdom of God that finally the Pharisees demanded, “. . .