By Bill Cavender
“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Jehovah’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and word of Jehovah from Jerusalem” (Isa. 2:2-3).
“And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed. nor shall the sovereignty thereof be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Dan. 2:44).
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. . . . And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered. for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Jehovah hath said, and among the remnant whom the Lord shall call” (Joel 2:26-32).
These three prophecies in Isaiah, Daniel and Joel find their fulfillment in Acts 2:1-47. Isaiah said that God’s kingdom on earth would begin in the last days; that all nations would flow into it; and the law, the word of Jehovah, would go forth from Jerusalem. Daniel said that God’s kingdom would begin in the days of the Roman kings (“those kings'”) that it would never be destroyed; it would have an unchangeable sovereignty (rulership); it would stand while the kingdoms of the world rise and fall; and it would stand forever. Joel said that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (both Jews and Gentiles), and whosoever would call upon the name of the Lord would be saved.
Jesus, our Savior, was born in the days of Augustus Caesar (Luke 2: 1). He was baptized by John the immerser and began His public ministry in the days of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1, 21-22). Thus it was in the days of the Roman kings that John the baptizer and Jesus the Saviour both announced the fulfillment of the prophesies and the coming God’s kingdom. John preached, saying, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. . . . The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1: 14-15). Jesus told the multitudes that “there are some here of them that stand by, who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9: 1). If the kingdom of God did not begin in the life times of those people, then Jesus either was mistaken or told a falsehood. If He told the truth, speaking God’s word to the people, then the kingdom of God either has already come as Jesus said, or some of those people are still living on earth! Jesus told Peter that he (Peter) would be given “the keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 16:18-19) and that he, in his lifetime, would bind and loose whatsoever had been bound and loosed in heaven. Those converted would become citizens of the kingdom (Matt. 18:3). Those who would be born again, born of water and of the Spirit, would enter into the kingdom (John 3:3-5; 1 Pet. 1:22-25).
Jesus instructed His apostles to “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, unto ye be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Before His ascension to the right hand of the Father, He told them not to depart from Jerusalem, that they would be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence; they would receive power after the Holy Spirit came upon them; and then they would be witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Luke 24:46-49; John 15:26-27; Acts 1:4-8; Mark 16:15-16; Matt. 28:18-20).
The Holy Spirit came upon the apostles as Jesus had promised them, on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14). They preached Jesus as the crucified and resurrected Lord, beginning that day, in Jerusalem (Acts 2:22-40). The word of Jehovah, His law and testimony, went forth from the apostles as they spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 16-21, 33). Peter used “the keys of the kingdom” that day, telling men and women who heard and believed the gospel what they must do to be saved from their past sins (Acts 2:37-41). Peter, an inspired apostle, declared on that day and occasion that the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles and the preaching of the gospel fulfilled Joel 2:28-32 (Acts 2:16-21). About three thousand people believed the good news of the gospel of Christ, repented of their sins, and were immersed for the remission of sins (Acts 2:37-41). They were born again of water and of the Spirit, saved, converted, and entered into the kingdom of God, which is not of this world politically, militarily, or economically (John 18:36-38; 3:3-5; Matt. 18:3; 1 Pet. 1:22-25).
The kingdom of God of which the prophets spoke began in the world that day in reality, in its completeness, perfection and fulfillment. It began in the city of Jerusalem, in the last days, when the word of the Lord went forth, as Isaiah said (2:2-3). It was in the days of the Roman kings, as Daniel had said (2:44). It was when the Spirit was poured out, as Joel said (2:28-32). God “hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son” (Heb. 1:1-2). The “last days” began when Jesus came and will end when He comes again “at the last day” (Acts 2:17; 1 Pet. 1:20; 2 Pet. 3:3; 1 Jn. 2:18; Jude 18; Jn. 6:39-40, 44, 54; 11:24; 12:48; 1 Cor. 15:24-28, 52). The kingdom is the kingdom of God and Christ (Eph. 5:5; Col. 1:13-14).
Jesus is now, at the present, the “King of kings, and Lord of lords” (John 18:33-38; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 15:3; 17:14; 19:16). He is at the right hand of the Majesty on high (Heb. 1:13; Eph. 1:19-23; 1 Pet. 3:21-22). He is on David’s throne (Acts 2:29-32). He is now an anointed and crowned King, with a scepter of power and a throne of authority, which is forever and ever (Matt. 28:18; Eph. 1:19-23; Heb. 1: 8-9).
The kingdom of God and Christ has existed in the world for over nineteen hundred and fifty years. All honest-hearted, God-fearing people in all the world who have heard the word of the truth of the gospel of God revealed through Jesus and His apostles, who believe in Jesus as God’s only begotten Son who is our Savior, who genuinely and truly repented of their sins, and are sincerely immersed for the remission of their sins, enter into the kingdom of God and Christ, the kingdom of heaven (John 3:3-5; Col. 1:13; Acts 2:37-41, 47). They are the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:26-27). They are “heirs of the kingdom” (James 2:5; Gal. 3:26-29; 4:1-4). They will be saved eternally in heaven if they will maintain the hope of faith steadfastly unto the end (2 Pet. 1:5-11; Heb. 3:6; 10:39). Heaven is the hope and home of the citizen of the kingdom of God and Christ who serves the Lord from an obedient, true heart of faith (Heb. 5:8-9; 10:19-25; Col. 1:5; Rom. 8:24-25; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 24, pp. 746, 751
December 19, 1985