Matt 27:11                 My Kingdom Is Not of This World                      12/7/2008      ßà   

 

 

 

#1.       Before Pilate (Matt 27:11-14, Luke 23:1-2, John 18:28-38)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2.       Before Herod (Luke 23:6-12, 9:7-9, Isa 53:7, 1Cor 16:22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3.       Before God (Isa 53:10-11, 1Cor 2:2, John 17:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 27:11 (2X). We have come to that part in the Gospel of Matthew where the Lord Jesus was brought to Pontius Pilate, with the purpose that Pilate would send Jesus to be crucified. Look back for a moment at the trial of the Lord Jesus before the religious hypocrites. The sentence of death was already passed upon Him before He was brought to trial at all. We read in Matt 26:59 that they sought false witnesses against Jesus. And so, His trial before the religious rulers was nothing more than a farce. There were thousands who could have witnessed of His healing miracles and of the gracious words He spoke. But such testimony as this was not what they wanted. And so, something must be devised which would give an appearance of justice in clamoring for His execution. Now, it is not widely known that there were three trials before the religious rulers and another three trials before the secular rulers of the Jews. There were a total of six trials.

Let me run this by you very briefly. You can see in the sermon outline the references that record these six trials. From the Garden of Gethsemane the Lord Jesus was first brought to Annas, who was the father in law of Caiaphas, as we can read in John 18:13. This was the first trial. After this the Lord Jesus was brought to Caiaphas, the high priest for that year, as we can read in John 18:24 and in Matt 26:57-68. This was the second trial. After this the Lord Jesus was brought before the entire Sanhedrin, the ruling body of the Jews, as we can read in Luke 22:66-71. This was the third trial before the religious rulers. After this the Lord Jesus was brought before the governor Pontius Pilate, as we can read in Matt 27:11-14. This was the fourth trial. After this the Lord Jesus was brought before king Herod, as we can read in Luke 23:6-12. This was the fifth trial. After this the Lord Jesus was brought again before Pilate, as we can read in Matt 27:15-26. This was the sixth trial. We will not spend time to go through the historical details of these six trials, but let us now look at ten amazing contrasts presented here. The Friend of sinners was shackled to prevent Him from doing any more good works. The Son of God was bound hands and feet by hypocrites, sons of the Devil. The Judge of all the earth was arraigned before fallen sons of Adam. The Lord of glory was treated with the foulest scorn. The Holy One of Israel was condemned as a blasphemer. Liars bore witness against Him who is the Truth. The Holy One who is the resurrection and the life was doomed to die. And now they pressed out of Him that He is the Son of man of Dan 7:13, who is “sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” He is “sitting”, in contrast to “Me standing before you while you sit in judgment upon Me; and “power” in contrast to His apparent weakness while standing before them; and “coming in the clouds of heaven” in contrast to going to the cross. And the response of Caiaphas was to tear his official robes, instead of putting them off before the majesty of the great High Priest in whose presence he was. However in this act, unknown to himself, Caiaphas demonstrated that God had rent asunder the Aaronic priesthood from the nation of Israel. A garment is only torn to pieces by its owner when he has no more use for it. From this day forward it is only the Lord Jesus Christ who is the legitimate High Priest for the nation whom He is serving, which is the nation consisting of the remnant saved by grace out of all nations of the world, those whom He came to save on the cross. And after the third trial, as recorded in Luke 22:66-71, the mock trial was over, and the nation of Israel had condemned their Messiah; rebellious man had condemned his God. And then they brought Him before Pilate. Let us read now from Matt 27:11-14,

#1.       Before Pilate (Matt 27:11-14, Luke 23:1-2, John 18:28-38)

Mt 27:11- And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

These four verses are all that Matthew recorded for us. It seems as if Pilate’s question, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” was pulled abruptly out of thin air. We need to remember that Matthew’s rendition of the 4th trial was only a summary of what took place. When we read the Gospel of Luke we find a little more information. We read in Luke 23:1-2, “And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.” Now here is where Pilate heard that Jesus claimed to be a king. That is why he asked in Matt 27:11, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” And when Jesus answered “Thou sayest”, we have found out two weeks ago that this meant, “That is so.” “What you say is right.” Pilate was interested in knowing if Jesus was a rebel against the Roman Empire. But Pilate also knew that if Jesus indeed was a rebel, the Jews would not have brought Him to Pilate, but they would have honored Him, for Pilate knew how much the Jews hated the Roman occupation of their country. Please put a sticker here in Matthew chapter 27, for we will be returning here many times, and please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 18:28 (2X). Since the Gospel of Matthew gives us only a sparse overview of the fourth trial of Jesus, let us continue this event in the Gospel of John where we find a little more information. The Gospel of John provides interesting aspects which we do not find in the other three Gospels. We read in John 18:28-38,

Joh 18:28-38 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die. Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

Let us mark this here in verse 28. The Jews did not want to defile their bodies by setting foot in an area that belonged to a Gentile, but they did not consider that the murder of Jesus would defile their soul. What better proof was there of the worthlessness of their religion. These men were engaged in the vilest act ever perpetrated on earth, and yet they spoke of being “defiled” by stepping into the Judgment Hall. Even so, today there are some who are more concerned about the proper mode of Water Baptism than they are of a Scriptural walk with God; they are more scrupulous about precise rituals in observing the Lord’s Supper than they are to bring forth spiritual fruit to the glory of the Father. Let us beware of the main issues of our religion, lest we also will be straining a gnat and swallowing a camel. The true cross of Christ and the cross in which the ceremonialists glory have no resemblance to each other. The cross of Christ and the crucifix that people hang around their neck have nothing in common. Pilate was not taken by surprise. Pilate was aware that five days earlier the Lord Jesus had a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. That was quite a commotion. And so, Pilate knew that the Jews had delivered Jesus to him out of envy. Pilate asked them, “What accusation bring ye against this man?” They answered with great arrogance, “If he were not a criminal, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.” How dare you ask this question, Pilate? Look who is before you. We are none other than the sacred Sanhedrin. We are the holiest council of the Jews. We would never have arrested an innocent man. We have already tried this case, and our judgment is beyond question. We only ask that you now give the necessary Roman sanction that He may be put to death. But Pilate wished to have nothing to do with this case. He said, “You take him, and judge him according to your law”. Their response was most revealing. They said, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death”. The heads of Israel admitted that the time has come that Israel no longer had any self-rule. “The scepter has departed from Judah”. Prophecy has been fulfilled:

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 49:1 (2X). This is a prophecy that the old patriarch Jacob uttered under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, for God honored these words by putting them in the Bible. Jacob knew that he was about to die, and he gathered his sons around him to give them his blessings and to give them instructions what to do with his dead body. We read in Gen 49:1, “And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” What last days was Jacob referring to? Throughout the Bible we recognize that the term “The last days” refers to the entire NT period of time. And thus many of the prophecies in this chapter have their impact on the NT all the way to Revelation. This chapter should be taken together with Deut 33, which contains Moses’ blessings of the tribes of Israel. We read in Gen 49:

Ge 49:10  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering (Lit: the obedience) of the people be.

Who or what does Shiloh represent? Shiloh became the capital city of the new nation of Israel almost immediately after the children of Israel entered the land of Canaan. There the Ark of the Covenant was for almost 340 years. After 340 years the Ark of the Covenant fell into the hands of the Philistines. The Philistines returned the Ark within a year, but from then on the Ark never returned to Shiloh.

But Shiloh is also the name of a person. Gen 49:10 is a Messianic prophecy. Shiloh refers to Christ. The name Shiloh is a compound word, which means: "Whose it is", or "To whom it belongs" (2X). Gen 49:10 is saying that Judah shall continue to rule his own land until Shiloh comes, and then Judah's self rule shall cease. When Shiloh comes, when He comes to whom it belongs, then unto Him shall be the obedience of the people. And in Gen 49:1 God says that this prophecy applies to the N.T. time. History proved this prophecy right. Except for a period of 47 years of captivity in Babylon, the Jews ruled their own affairs in the land of Judah. Even when they were under the Persian Empire, or under the Greek Empire or under the Roman Empire, the nation of the Jews was always allowed to rule their own religious affairs. But after Christ came, after Shiloh came, after He to whom it belongs came, the nation of the Jews was destroyed in 70 AD, and the Jews were scattered throughout the world. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Gen 49:10. And even though the destruction of Jerusalem was never recorded in the Bible after it had taken place. But there was ample warning of it before it took place. For example, turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 19:41 (2X), and please put a second sticker here in John 18, for we will be returning there many times. We have here the account of the Lord Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It was five days before He was going to be crucified. And so, the time drew near for the transition from the OT economy to the NT economy of the Gospel; which means that Jerusalem was no longer going to be the center of the activities that were pleasing to God. The physical temple in Jerusalem had finished its purpose. We read in Luke 19:41-44,

Lu 19:41-44 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

This destruction of Jerusalem, and the subsequent dispersion of the nation of the Jews, was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Gen 49:10. And the reason for this destruction was not that the calendar dictated that Jerusalem must be destroyed, but the real reason was, “Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.” They did not recognize that their Messiah had come. It is true that the god of this world had blinded the minds of most of the nation of the Jews. But who gave Satan permission to do this? Ultimately it was God who orchestrated the death and the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, for He was foreordained to be our substitute in paying the penalty for our sins. Gen 49:10 further says, “And unto him shall the obedience of the people be.” Look at these words now. Shiloh has come, and Judah has lost his leadership, but “the people” do not refer to the nation of the Jews. The majority of the Jews remain in unbelief. They did not become obedient to Christ; but those who became converted by God the Holy Spirit, the remnant chosen by grace out of all the nations of the world, they are now “the people”, referring to the people of God. Please turn again to the Gospel of John, John 18:31 (2X). A second example of the warnings that their OT nation came to an end was given here in John 18:31, where the leaders of the Jews answered Pilate, “It is not lawful for us to put any man to death.” By this they openly admitted that they had lost the rulership over Judah, which meant that “The scepter has departed from Judah”. It meant that Shiloh has come; their Messiah has come. “And unto him shall the obedience of the people be.” There is a great deal more I could say about Shiloh, but since I already preached on that on November 4 of 2001, I recommend that you read and listen to that sermon.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luke 23:6 (2X).

#2.       Before Herod (Luke 23:6-12, 9:7-9, Isa 53:7, 1Cor 16:22)

Here is the fifth trial of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the second before the secular rulers of the Jews. Pilate wanted to get rid of having to sentence Jesus for something he did not believe deserved the sentence of death. Therefore he grabbed every opportunity to avoid this sentencing. We read in Luk 23:

Lu 23:6-12 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Why was king Herod eager to see Jesus? Not only did he want to see some miracle done by Jesus. Not only did he want to enjoy some excitement. But he also wanted to still his conscience, for Herod had put John the Baptist to death three years earlier. Let me read to you from the Gospel of Luke 9:7-9 (2X),

Lu 9:7-9 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

And so, Herod was glad to see Jesus. But Jesus did nothing and said nothing, no matter what Herod said or what the chief priests and scribes accused Him of. And here we are reminded of what God said in the prophecy of Isa 53:7, “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” Herod and his soldiers mocked Jesus, but Herod did not desire to condemn Jesus to death. He just had no love for Him. He was indifferent. And so, Herod sent Jesus back to Pilate. But notice what we read in Luke 23:12, “And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together.” Pilate who judged that Jesus must die, but then he immediately passed the buck for the death of Jesus to the Jews who insisted that Jesus must die; and Herod who did not care if Jesus would die or not, but he had no love for Jesus, and he also passed the buck for the crucifixion of Jesus, claiming that it was not his responsibility. Look at this now, and see how this is a vivid picture of people in this century who are indifferent toward the Lord Jesus Christ, and people who pass the buck for the death of Jesus to the Jews. These two groups of people become good friends with each other, for they have much in common They have no love for Jesus. And God says in 1Cor 16:22, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” or “let him be accursed when the Lord comes.” In other words, love for the Lord Jesus Christ is something that accompanies salvation. Salvation is not possible without the love for Christ. And so, we should examine ourselves if we love Christ, and wherein is that love manifested, so that we can be convinced in our heart that we love Christ above all. Yes, Herod and Pilate were both responsible for the death of the Lord Jesus, even though they passed the buck to the Jews. Please turn in your Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 4:23 (2X).

The religious leaders of the Jews commanded Peter and John that they may not preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the temple. But Peter and John answered that they will be obedient to God rather than to man. And when they had further threatened them, they let them go. Then we read in Acts 4:23-28,

Ac 4:23-28 And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

This is a literal quotation of Psalm 2:1-3, and it is also an application of this Psalm. Note these words

“Why do the heathen rage?” Who are the heathen in this application of this Psalm? God says in verse 27, “Both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel” are those heathen, since all the people in the world who are unbelievers are heathen in God’s eyes. When people speak of the Judeo-Christian heritage, they are propagating a lie, for Christians and Jews do not worship the same God who sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save His elect from their sins. Christians and Jews have different Bibles, which means that they answer to different Authorities, which means that they have different gods, for the Authority whom we obey is the God whom we serve. After the cross the God whom we serve is the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment of the second person of the Triune God and who is fully God, for the Lord Jesus said, “I and the Father are One”. Therefore, after the cross all nations of the world stand on the same level at the foot of the cross. No more is one nation preferred over another like we see in OT times. But notice the last verse in this passage. Acts 4:28 clearly defines for us the character of the God whom we serve. God says in Acts 4:28, “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” God’s “counsel” is what God decided to do with this creation long before the foundation of the world; it is the plan of God. God’s “hand” is the “providence” of God working out in history what God in His counsel decided to accomplish. And so, the character of the God whom we serve is that He is a sovereign God who says in Isa 46:9-10, “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” Our God declares the end from the beginning, not because He can look down the corridors of time, and this He can do also, but because He makes history to unfold according to His plans, and He will do all His pleasure. When we read in Acts 4:28, “For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done,” we understand and believe that God was totally in charge when the Lord Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross, even though Satan and the chief priests and the scribes and Pharisees thought that they had everything under control. This was another case where it is evident that God uses the sins of man to accomplish His purposes. And so, when the Lord Jesus Christ physically stood before the elders of the people of Israel, and before Pontius Pilate, and before king Herod, spiritually He was standing before the judgment throne of God. Spiritually He, the Judge, had come from behind the bench and paid the price for the sins of all the sinners whom the Father had given Him. Let us look at Christ:

#3.       Before God (Isa 53:10-11, 1Cor 2:2, John 17:3)

We have seen Christ before Pilate, and the prophecy that Shiloh had come. We have seen Christ before Herod, and the prophecy the all the heathen rage against Him. And now we want to see the Scriptures which prove that the Lord Jesus was actually standing before the throne of God. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:10 (2X). When we read Isa 40-66 we can grasp three themes that bind all these chapters together. The three themes contained in these chapters are to declare unto us: #1, Who is the God who brings us this beautiful Gospel of salvation, and #2, What exactly is this Gospel, and #3, To whom does He bring it. All the principles that we find in these chapters can be brought together under these three themes, and the glue that binds all these principles together is the cross of Christ, as is so well stated in 1Cor 2:2, “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” This is the central issue; this is the glue that binds together everything concerning the Gospel that we find in the Bible. Let us now look at Isa 53:10, where we read,

Isa 53:10 ¶  Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Again we see that the sins of men were used by God to accomplish His purposes. The Sanhedrin and the soldiers slapped the Lord Jesus and mocked Him and spit in His face. Herod put a purple robe on Him to mock Him. The soldiers made for Him a crown of thorns. The soldiers scourged Him. And these things they all did for their own pleasure. But all the while, beginning on Thursday evening in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Lord Jesus was atoning for our sins, and thus it pleased Jehovah God to bruise Him. It was Jehovah God who has put Him to grief, for the Lord Jesus was already suffering in His soul a far greater grief than the soldiers were able to afflict on Him. But while Jehovah God made Christ’s soul an offering for sin, the Lord Jesus looked forward to those who are going to be His seed, and in this He rejoiced. And thus, after His resurrection from the grave Jehovah God shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in the hands of the Lord Jesus. He shall be successful in bringing home all those for whom He suffered and died. And then we see in the next verse, Isa 53:11,

Isa 53:11  He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

The Lord Jesus shall look forward to the end result of His sufferings, and He shall be satisfied, for by His knowledge He shall justify many; or a better translation is, “by the knowledge of Him He shall justify many.” This is indeed what salvation is all about, for the Lord Jesus said in John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” And the reason why these individuals might know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom He hast sent” is stated in the end of Isa 53:11, “For he shall bear their iniquities.” And thus the atonement of the Lord Jesus was for specific individuals, not for everyone in the world, and Christ atoned for all the sins of these individuals, not for all the sins of mankind. It was in this way that the Lord Jesus physically stood before Pilate, but spiritually He stood before the throne of God, for Pilate was appointed by God to rule the nation of the Jews at that time. Please turn again to the Gospel According to John, John 18:36 (2X).

Pilate asked in Matt 27:11, and also in John 18:33, “Art Thou the King of the Jews?” On the whole, the question seems to be a mixture of curiosity and contempt. Curiosity, because Pilate had heard that Jesus had a triumphal entry into Jerusalem 5 days earlier. Contempt, because the humble attire and the lowly appearance of the Lord Jesus did not impress Pilate. And when the Lord Jesus addressed Pilate in the next verse, He addressed Himself to Pilate’s conscience: Paraphrased the Lord Jesus said to him, “Do you really desire to act justly, or do you intend to be the tool of those who delivered Me unto you?” But Pilate avoided Jesus’ penetrating question. Then we read in John 18:36-37

Joh 18:36-37  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

You see, when the Lord Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world,” it should have been sufficient to dispel any ideas that the Lord Jesus is going to establish a glorious earthly kingdom for 1000 years reigning from the physical city of Jerusalem. That can never come to pass, for His kingdom is not of this world. His kingdom is presently a spiritual kingdom in the souls of those whom He delighted to save on the cross. His kingdom is much mightier than any other kingdom on this world, for if He would ask His Father, the Father would send Him twelve legions of angels who would obliterate this entire world. But when He came the first time, He came to save the world of His elect, so that they would be saved. And in the future His kingdom will become a truly physical Kingdom, but that will have to wait until the Lord’s second coming when He shall rapture us up to be with Him forever with body and soul. And thereafter He shall usher us into the new creation of the NH&NE, where only righteousness dwells. But this will be in a totally different universe, for it will be a universe where there is no entropy; it will be a universe where there is no decay. And then again it will be a glorious kingdom that is not of this world. And so, why would people cling to a much lesser gospel where the Lord Jesus would establish an earthly kingdom on this sin-cursed world, and why would they consider such reigning by Christ from Jerusalem to be so glorious when God says  in Gal 4:25 that “Jerusalem which now is, is in bondage with her children.” Don’t they realize that this is a statement that caries its weight through time all the way to judgment day? But presently Christ is King of kings and Lord of lords of a spiritual kingdom, which was no threat to the Roman Empire. The Lord Jesus added in John 18:37, “To this end was I born”. I was born for the purpose to take possession of this spiritual kingdom; the kingdom in the souls of both OT and NT saints who are saved by grace, and who are cleansed through My atonement on the cross. And these saints are called Jews in the NT sense of the word, for God declared in Rom 2:28-29,

Ro 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.      (Christ indeed is King of the Jews.)

Let us glorify God as Jews in the NT sense of the word, and praise Him for His wonderful plan of salvation which He has designed for us.                    AMEN.            Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.