Jesus Christ Will Reign From Jerusalem
Excerpts taken from Dr. John R. Rice's excellent book, The Coming Kingdom of Christ (ISBN 0-87398-116-2)
|World Hates Christ
Now as in His Ministry
Is this world now subject to the reign of Christ as Israel was subject to David? The world does not love him, the world does not obey Him. It crucified Him when He was here, and every Christ-rejecting sinner does the same thing in his heart. Peter denied Him, and the rest of the disciples forsook Him and fled. Do not present day disciples do the same?
What nation is a Christian nation in all the
world today, as Israel was David's nation? Is America, with
legalized booze, with the national government a party to the booze trade?
Is the will of Christ done on earth as it is in heaven, as Jesus taught it
would be when the prayer, "Thy kingdom come," is answered? Look
about you and see if the kingdoms of this world have been taken from
Satan, "the god of this world" (2nd Corinthians 4:4), and have been given
to 'the Lord and His Christ.' No, not yet, but they will be at His
coming. -Pgs. 85,86
When Will Jesus Sit on His Throne, the Throne of David?
So much is said about the coming reign of Christ in the Bible that we should expect definite teaching about when Christ will sit on His throne and reign. Thank God, we do have definite teaching in many places on this question. For instance Matthew 25:31. There the Saviour tells us, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory...THEN shall He sit upon the throne of his glory." All the argument in this world cannot change the plain, simple fact which the Scripture expressly states: Jesus will be enthroned at His second coming.
Some may complain, however, that the Scripture, Matthew 25:31, refers to Jesus sitting on a throne to judge. It does tell about His judging those that are brought before Him, the sheep and goats, the saved and lost of the living nations on the earth when He returns. And that judgment will be on the basis of what they have done toward Christ's brethren, the Jews, during the tribulation period. We grant that. However, one must distinguish between this judgment of the living on earth with those three groups of sheep, goats and brethren, and the last great judgment of the unsaved dead, mentioned in Revelation 20:11-15.
No, Matthew 25:31 tells of the
beginning of His kingdom when He shall sit on the throne of His glory. Those brought before Him are the living of the nations of the earth over
whom He is to rule. In fact, in the same context, Matthew 25:34, we
are told that the Saviour will say will say to the saints who will reign
with Him: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for
you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 25:34). The kingdom
of Christ begins when He will sit on the throne of His glory at His
coming. -Pgs. 93,94
Eternal Promises to the City, Jerusalem
Preachers and Bible teachers have fallen into an evil way of spiritualizing the Word of God, explaining away the promises and making the Bible means what it does not say. In many editions of the Bible, men have defiled the Word of God with their opinions which explain away the literal meaning of the inspired Book. At the top of pages or chapters where God promised good to Israel, men have written "God's promises to the church." When God's Word prophesies good to Jerusalem or to Mount Zion, or prophesies about the future of Mount Zion, such learned teachers and preachers often say that God did not mean what He said at all, but referred to heaven. They are wrong, utterly, foolishly, presumptuously, wickedly wrong!
The Bible says what it means and means what it says. God has an eternal plan connected with the literal city of Jerusalem in Palestine, which is so plainly foretold that honest Bible students must accept it. Mount Zion is "the southwest hill of Jerusalem, the older and higher part of the city; it is often called, the city of David" (Young's Analytical Concordance). The term "Mount Zion" is often used for the whole city of Jerusalem.
If you want to understand what God says in the Bible about Jerusalem, then remember this: always the name Jerusalem refers to the literal city of Jerusalem in Palestine, unless the Scripture indicates otherwise. Five times in the Bible, in Galatians 4:26, Hebrews 12:22, Revelation 3:12, Revelation 21:2, and Revelation 21:10, the word "Jerusalem" refers to the heavenly city which will one day come down to Palestine on the site of the old Jerusalem. Hundreds of times "Jerusalem" means the city now in Palestine. (Pg. 95)
If you would understand the Scriptures and
know God's plans and promises, then take literally His promises about
Jerusalem and Mount Zion. -Pg. 95
Jerusalem, "the City of the Great King"
In the prophets and Psalms, Jerusalem is a famous theme. In Psalm 48: 1,2,the importance of Jerusalem in the plan of God is shown.
The Psalmist wrote, not primarily for his own time, but looking into the future, he was inspired to know that the time would come when Jerusalem should be "the joy of the whole earth." Jerusalem was "the city of the great king," but the King mentioned was not David nor Solomon, but a coming King. Jesus Himself quoted that phrase in Matthew 5:35 saying that none should swear by Jerusalem "for it is the city of the great King." There would be no blasphemy in taking the name of a man in vain. This great King is Jesus, the Son of God, very God Himself. No one should swear by Jerusalem, because it is the city of Jesus, the great King--not because it is the city of king David. This proves surely that the literal city of Jerusalem will be the center of the reign of Christ.
That coming great King will sit on His throne at Jerusalem, and then Jerusalem shall be the joy of the whole earth. When the Saviour returns to reign, when Israel is regathered and converted, when Jesus sits in the literal city of Jerusalem on the throne of David, then these prophecies about Jerusalem will be fulfilled. -Pgs. 101,102
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