Thursday, September 26, 2013
“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:29,30 KJV).
Mankind, in his natural state, is apathetic to JEHOVAH’S desire to build a temple… using him….
Job, the oldest Bible book (predating Moses and his books of Genesis to Deuteronomy), summarizes the hope of every believer who lived in the “Old Testament” economy (although, technically, this was also the hope of believers in Christ’s earthly ministry and the early Acts period):
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me” (Job 19:25-27).
As a representative of the believers living in Israel’s program, Job shows us that the hope the believer in the God of the Bible had was not to go to heaven, but rather to be resurrected bodily to live forever in an earthly kingdom with that God reigning. As opposed to them expecting to go to heaven upon death, these saints expected heaven to come down to earth (literally, “heaven on earth”)! This was the hope believers had prior to the salvation and ministry of the Apostle Paul.
In early Acts, the Apostle Peter offered to Israel that earthly kingdom which was “spoken by the mouth of all [God’s] holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21). That earthly kingdom was the heart of “the Gospel of the Kingdom” that John the Baptist preached, that Jesus Christ Himself preached in His earthly ministry, and the Gospel that He commissioned Israel’s 12 apostles to preach (Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 9:35; Matthew 10:7; Matthew 24:14; Mark 1:14; et al.).
Note how Peter says that God’s promise of that earthly kingdom goes right back to Adam, the first man. That kingdom prophesied “since the world began” is still postponed.…