Why Christians have a fervent desire for the promised future
NKJV (John 3:16) 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
The hope for an eternal future, a series of articles supplemented by already published articles, but now with clarifying new insights.
About occult meetings, secret organizations and secret societies; manipulation and control of our worldwide society, without conscience, compassion or mercy for fellow humans.
These people can be recognized, because they never consider the decisive role of free choice, voluntary cooperation and Christian integrity considerations as the most important starting-points and by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7: 16-17):
NKJV (Matthew 13: 24-30) 24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, ‘First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.’ ‘ ‘
NKJV (Matthew 13: 36-43) 36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.’ 37 He answered and said to them: ‘He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Everything that happens secretly and what the daylight cannot bear, where nothing is what it seems.
Paul described that darkness with the following words:
NKJV (Ephesians 5: 11-13) 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
The theme of this writing is the meaning of ‘life’ and of ‘the Kingdom’.
What should we imagine with the eternal life of a person?
First we will discuss how Scripture describes the composition of man:
The soul is the life process or life force in a person or being and must be fed to maintain the functioning of a person or being.
The soul is in Scriptures represented by the blood. The soul dies or the process of life / life force ends when a person dies.
The ‘physical’ heart is the organ in the body, which provides in the pumping of blood. The ‘spiritual’ Heart in Scriptures stands for personal characteristics, the personality:
NKJV (Matthew 9: 4) 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, ‘Why do you think evil in your hearts?
NKJV (Matthew 15: 18-19) 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
NKJV (Luke 6:45) 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
NKJV (Hebrews 3:12) 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
NKJV (2 Peter 2:14) 14… They have a heart trained in covetous practices….
Conscience is part of the ‘spiritual’ heart:
NKJV (Hebrews 10:22) 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
Topic: Spirit pneuma
primarily denotes ‘the wind’ (akin to pneo, ‘to breathe, blow’); also ‘breath;’ then, especially ‘the spirit,’ which, like the wind, is invisible, immaterial and powerful.
(c) the immaterial, invisible part of man
(f) the sentient element in man, that by which he perceives, reflects, feels, desires
The Spirit represents the spiritual person, in which the ‘invisible’ Spirit looks much like the ‘spiritual’ Heart. The spirit can be considered as a summary of the characteristics of the heart, the personality, with a view to faith, feelings and emotions:
NKJV (Matthew 26:41) 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
NKJV (John 13:21) 21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’
NKJV (Acts 17:16) 16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols.
NKJV (1 Corinthians 5: 5) … that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
When someone has died, it is the ‘spirit’ of man, the memories of someone’s life and the personality of someone, which form the basis for a resurrection:
NKJV (Luke 8:55) 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.
NKJV (Luke 23:46) 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, ‘Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.‘ ‘ Having said this, He breathed His last.
NKJV (Ecclesiastes 12:7) 7 Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, And the spirit will return to God who gave it.
How can we attune our spirit to the eternal life that Jesus spoke about?
First some basic concepts:
NKJV (Matthew 18: 8-9) 8 If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. NKJV (Mark 10: 14-15) 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.’
NKJV (John 6:58) 58 This is the bread which came down from heaven–not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.’
We can be certain of eternal life, because it is a promise from Jesus:
NKJV (Luke 20:38) 38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.’
NKJV (John 6:40) 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.’
NKJV (Revelation 3: 5) 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
Now that we understand that ‘the spiritual person’ of every person is important, we can continue with God’s Kingdom, where Jesus frequently preached about.
What should we imagine with the Kingdom of God?
The prayer that Jesus taught us, begins like this:
NKJV (Matthew 6: 9-10) 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come…….
What then is God’s Kingdom?
The angel Gabriel told Mary about the promised Messiah:
NKJV (Luke 1: 30-33) 30 Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; 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 of His kingdom there will be no end.’
Jesus told in His days about the solution of all injustice and spoke about a heavenly Kingdom, a Theocracy, a Kingdom of Peace.
But what is a Theocracy?
‘Theos’ means God, and ‘kratia’ means to rule, joined together, reign by God.
A Theocracy is thus a form of government based on Divine government.
The legislation of this King must be a legislation with righteous principles, a sacred legislation. This is the Bible for Christians.
The promised Messiah and his Kingdom were foretold in the Old Testament:
NKJV (Isaiah 9: 2,6-7) 2 The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light… . 6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever…
NKJV (Daniel 2:44) 44 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.
NKJV (Daniel 7: 13-14) 13 ‘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.
With the descendants of Jacob a beginning was made for a new kingdom of priests:
NKJV (Exodus 19: 5-6) 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’
The descendants of Jacob (Israel) are called the chosen one’s in Scriptures:
NKJV (Deuteronomy 10:15) 15 The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as it is this day.
NKJV (1 Chronicles 16:13) 13 O seed of Israel His servant, You children of Jacob, His chosen ones!
NKJV (Isaiah 49: 7) 7 …… ‘Kings shall see and arise, Princes also shall worship, Because of the Lord who is faithful, The Holy One of Israel; And He has chosen You.’
NKJV (Isaiah 65: 9) 9 I will bring forth descendants from Jacob, And from Judah an heir of My mountains; My elect shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.
But not ‘all’ Jews were chosen as priests and kings in Jesus days:
NKJV (Acts 10:41) 41 not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.
NKJV (Matthew 8: 11-12) 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
A group of 144,000 (anointed with Holy Spirit) are ‘chosen’ according to Scripture with the privilege of ruling with Jesus as kings and priests in God’s Kingdom:
NKJV (Revelation 5:10) 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’
NKJV (Revelation 7: 4) 4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed. One hundred and forty-four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel were sealed:
NKJV (Revelation 20: 6) 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Then there is the mystery, that within the worldwide Christian congregation also Gentiles will belong to the 144,000, to those, who are anointed with Holy Spirit (the first fruits):
NKJV (Colossians 1:27) 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
NKJV (Acts 10:45) 45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
Who, apart from the saints, are all eligible for the Kingdom?
NKJV (Galatians 3: 26-29) 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
NKJV (Romans 9:26) 26 ‘And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.’
Love of money blocks people from entering the Kingdom:
NKJV (Matthew 19: 16,21-22) 16 Now behold, one came and said to Him, ‘Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?’… 21 Jesus said to him, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
NKJV (Mark 10: 23-25) 23 Then Jesus looked around and said to His disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ 24 And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’
Paul once described the inheritance of the Kingdom in this way:
NKJV (1 Corinthians 6: 9-10) 9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
NKJV (Ephesians 5: 5) 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
When will the Kingdom come?
That question the apostles asked Jesus:
NKJV (Acts 1: 6-8) 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7 And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’
The coming of the Kingdom will not come with a sign and cannot be seen, but will be seen by the fruits of man himself when that person is appropriate for the Kingdom:
NKJV (Luke 17: 20-21) 20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.’
There is a condition for inheriting the Kingdom; one must have been baptized out of conviction:
NKJV (John 3: 5) 5 Jesus answered, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
(See also the other examples in: 6. The Promised Messiah https://www.dojc.nl/?p=4617&lang=en)
When the last worldwide preaching is finished, the Kingdom gets a beginning:
(This worldwide preaching – Rev. 11: 1-12 – will be discussed in the next article)
NKJV (Revelation 11: 10,15) 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. …. 15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’
NKJV (Revelation 12: 7,10) 7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,… 10 Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.
Jesus was referring about the preaching to the Gentiles, the non-Jews or other sheep, until the fullness of the Gentiles would have come in:
NKJV (John 10:16) 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
NKJV (Romans 11: 25) 25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Jesus called the time until the beginning of the Kingdom, the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles:
NKJV (Luke 21:24) 24 …..And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
According to our research, Luke 21:24 does not mean the period since Nebuchadnezzar.
Jesus at that time referred to the future, to the coming destruction of Jerusalem (with its temple) by the Romans (General Titus) in 70 AD, as He did in verse 6 and verse 20 :
NKJV (Luke 21: 6, 20, 24) 6 ‘These things which you see–the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.’… .. 20 ‘But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near…. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The temple, the house of YHWH, will not be rebuilt until the era of the new earth, which we will discuss in another article.
But in the last days, the abomination of desolation will refine the true Christians:
(For the double fulfillment of the abomination of desolation, see:
> Youth; Disappointments and how to deal with https://www.dojc.nl/?p=5008&lang=en
NKJV (Revelation 7: 9,13-14) 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,… . 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, ‘Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?’ 14 And I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ So he said to me, ‘These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
The second dream of Nebuchadnezzar
The first dream of Nebuchadnezzar was about the image with a head of gold, his chest and his arms of silver, and his belly and his thighs of bronze, his legs of iron, his feet partly of iron, partly of clay, as well as the toes. (Daniel 2: 1-49), the world powers who dominated God’s people, up to the Kingdom of God. The second dream of Nebuchadnezzar was also very impressive:
NKJV (Daniel 4: 10-37) 10 ‘These were the visions of my head while on my bed:
‘I was looking, and behold, A tree in the midst of the earth, And its height was great.11 The tree grew and became strong; Its height reached to the heavens, And it could be seen to the ends of all the earth. 12 Its leaves were lovely, Its fruit abundant, And in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, The birds of the heavens dwelt in its branches, And all flesh was fed from it. 13 ‘I saw in the visions of my head while on my bed, and there was a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven. 14 He cried aloud and said thus: ‘Chop down the tree and cut off its branches, Strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts get out from under it, And the birds from its branches. 15 Nevertheless leave the stump and roots in the earth, Bound with a band of iron and bronze, In the tender grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of heaven, And let him graze with the beasts On the grass of the earth. 16 Let his heart be changed from that of a man, Let him be given the heart of a beast, And let seven times pass over him. 17 ‘This decision is by the decree of the watchers, And the sentence by the word of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’
18 ‘This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, have seen. Now you, Belteshazzar (Daniel), declare its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able, for the Spirit of the Holy God is in you.’
20 The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, whose height reached to the heavens and which could be seen by all the earth, 21 whose leaves were lovely and its fruit abundant, in which was food for all, under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and in whose branches the birds of the heaven had their home– 22 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong; for your greatness has grown and reaches to the heavens, and your dominion to the end of the earth. 23 And inasmuch as the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave its stump and roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze in the tender grass of the field; let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let him graze with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him’;
24 this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king:
25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses. 26 And inasmuch as they gave the command to leave the stump and roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be assured to you, after you come to know that Heaven rules. 27 Therefore, O king, let my advice be acceptable to you; break off your sins by being righteous, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor. Perhaps there may be a lengthening of your prosperity.’
28 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke, saying, ‘Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honor of my majesty?’ 31 While the word was still in the king’s mouth, a voice fell from heaven: ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!
33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws. 34 And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ 36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me.
37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.
From the second dream of Nebuchadnezzar it appears, that he would be for a period of 7 times as insane. The sealing of the tree stump with an iron and bronze band indicates the end of his kingship, the beginning of the ordeal. During the two witnesses prophecy, no rain will fall in the days when the holy witnesses prophesy and they have the power to turn the waters into blood (Rev.11: 6). Because of this, the kings of this earth will have to humiliate themselves to get insight. They will have to see their own pride as in the case of Nebuchadnezzar.
The king lived among the animals for seven years until he honored God and His kingdom.
Only then, after his insight, the tree became unlocked and he became restored. In the last days everyone will have to give honor to God for all His creation and have to worship God to receive life. (What the meaning is of the 7 times we will discuss in the next article)
Christians want to receive the imperishable price of eternal life:
NKJV (1 Corinthians 9: 24-25) 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
So far this part about the meaning of ‘life’ and of ‘the Kingdom’. In the next article we will speak about the preaching in the last days and the inclusion in heaven.