Kingdom thinking in the age to come
Oct 19, 2017
The law of God is largely designed to establish and define rights, as this is the core of a true system of justice. Victims have rights to compensation; lawbreakers have the right not to be overcharged or over-punished as well. Authority gives rights to those who have it. God Himself has rights as the Creator.
The problem comes when men decide that God has no rights and that their governments may usurp the rights of God. When that happens, men begin to worship the state instead of God, whether they know it or not. Patriotism is good up to a point, but when the government usurps authority, the people ought not to be “patriotic” at God’s expense. No man can serve two masters, and we either support God’s government or men’s usurpation.
The early church got into trouble over this very issue. Even so, they submitted to injustice, because the authority of government on earth had been removed from the rebellious (but God-ordained) kings of Judah and given to human governments beginning with Babylon. Yet God never commanded the believers to worship the state and its gods, and so they and were willing to pay the penalty for not sacrificing to government-approved gods.
Hence, after a long downward slide into golden calf patriotism, it is refreshing that President Trump said, “In America 'We Don't Worship Government, We Worship God.'
The timing of this statement is significant, because he said this on Friday, October 13, 2017, which was the first day of our conference in Cloquet, MN. Our theme was “Turning the Hearts,” a reference to turning the hearts of the children to the fathers—and primarily turning the hearts of the people back to God.
Recall that three years ago on October 12, 2014, we were led to declare or announce the transfer of authority from the beast nations to the saints of the Most High in accordance with Daniel 7:27. We knew that we would have to wait three more years to see this really come to the surface. I believe that the President’s statement is more than wishful thinking on his part. He spoke truth from the divine court. More importantly, he spoke with presidential authority.
Times of the Gentiles
On Sunday, October 15, 2017, we officially launched the Open Door Ministry as the Cloquet conference was coming to an end. We have looked for this day for many years. This beginning point is small, but significant. Trump’s announcement a few days earlier, though ignored by much of the press, bears witness to the new time in which we live.
So let me say it plainly, since most people in the world are yet unaware of what has just happened. The “times of the gentiles” (Luke 21:24) have just ended. Many thought that the times of the gentiles ended in 1948 or in 1967 when the Jews took over Jerusalem. They were wrong. Jewish control of Jerusalem did not stop the city from being “trampled under foot by the Gentiles.” Jerusalem is still ruled today by people who are in rebellion against God and the rightful Heir to the throne, Jesus Christ.
According to Daniel 7, the times of the gentiles end with the kingdom being given to the saints of the Most High. Jews are not “saints” by virtue of their genes. No one is. The New Testament makes it clear that only believers in Jesus Christ are saints—and, in fact, they must be more than believers. They must also be overcomers. These are the ones called to reign with Christ in the age to come.
We are not entering into a Jewish Age, nor are we coming into a Jewish Kingdom that sets up an Old Covenant temple, Levitical priests, and animal sacrifices. We are coming into a Kingdom where we are the temple of God, Melchizedek priests rule, and Jesus Christ is the only legitimate sacrifice, having done so once for all.
The Old Jerusalem is pictured allegorically (Paul says in Galatians 4:25) as “Hagar,” who will not inherit the Kingdom. Instead, Jerusalem must be “cast out” (Galatians 4:30). So far most of the church has refused to do this, backing Hagar and her spiritual sons in the dispute over who is to rule the Kingdom.
But after the earthly Jerusalem was trodden down by the gentiles for thousands of years, she will not receive the Kingdom. She will be replaced by “Sarah,” the heavenly Jerusalem, Paul says, who is “our mother” (Galatians 4:26)—if, indeed, we are overcomers who adhere to the New Covenant and the promises of God.
As for timing, we understand that the “seven times” tribulation has now been completed. It began with the transfer of authority to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in 607 B.C. By obtaining the Dominion Mandate, he took Jerusalem in 604 B.C., and this began the “times of the gentiles.” It did not end when the Persians took over, for Jerusalem remained under the authority of Persia. It did not end when the Grecian empire took over, for Jerusalem remained under the authority of the Grecian kings. Neither did it end when the Romans took control of Jerusalem.
The law specified “seven times,” and Daniel spoke about half of that period of time (Daniel 7:25). John defined it further in Revelation 13:5. It is not merely seven years, but 7 x 360 years, or 2,520 years. This time would have come to an end in 1917, after 2,520 years, had it not been for the century in which God deprived the third beast of its rule over Jerusalem (163-63 B.C.) on account of the excesses of Antiochus Epiphanes. But since that did happen, the beast systems did not rule for the full 2,520 years until a hundred years later in 2017.
We are now there. Most of the world does not yet recognize it, because they know nothing of prophecy. The church knows nothing about it, because most of them are still looking for a future tribulation, with an antichrist who is yet to come. They fail to understand the story of Absalom, who usurped the throne of David, and they do not understand how this story was repeated in the time of Jesus’ first coming. Neither do they understand the struggle for the birthright, the difference between Israel and Judah, and the difference between the two comings of Christ.
All of these things we have covered extensively and cannot repeat them here.
I believe that we have now received a new commission from the divine court. With this new commission comes a new level of spiritual authority that was not possible to have prior to this time. Of course, the gifts of the Spirit have always been in operation, and the first commission under Pentecost gave the apostles greater authority than had been theirs previously. But this is something bigger, for it has come through the feast of Tabernacles.
Looking back at the pattern of Pentecost, we see that the Great Commission began in Jerusalem and did not really go out into other countries much until persecution drove them out of the city. God used local opposition from the temple to scatter the apostles and other believers. First, they were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria (Acts 8:1), and still later, into other countries. Peter himself left in 44 A.D., after the angel set him free from prison. He fled to Caesarea (Acts 12:19). From there he went to Antioch and eventually to Rome, taking Mark with him. Mark’s gospel was written for the benefit of the church in Rome.
I do not intend to remain here in America until I am driven out. I see the Great Commission as a command to start preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom around the world. While the early apostles had difficulty seeing how non-Jews could receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:34, 35), I do not have that particular difficulty. Because Luke wrote about this narrow mindset in Acts 10 and in other places, I have been able to learn from their mistake by reading the Scriptures.
God commanded all people to keep the feasts, including non-Israelites. All were to keep Passover, “whether he is an alien or a native of the land” (Exodus 12:19). In other words, anyone can be justified by faith in the blood of the Lamb, regardless of race or nationality.
Likewise, Deuteronomy 16:10, 11 says that Pentecost (feast of Weeks) was to be kept by all, including “the stranger (alien) and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst.” It seems that the apostles in the New Testament did not understand this until Peter saw for himself how the Roman soldiers under Cornelius received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 10:45.
Today the issue is whether or not non-Israelites can keep the feast of Tabernacles. In other words, to be an overcomer, must one be of a certain genealogy? Well, Deuteronomy 16:13, 14 commands aliens (or strangers) to keep the feast of Booths/Tabernacles. If there is no restriction, and if God commands them to keep this feast, then how is it that some insist that only those of Israelite genealogy can be overcomers? In my view, such people do not know the law.
Having been schooled in the law, we are able to teach it to the church and to the world in preparation for the coming Kingdom. Yes, we have been in a kingdom already, but it was Saul’s kingdom, not David’s kingdom. We are entering a greater manifestation of the Kingdom now, one characterized by the rule of God’s law, rather than rebellion. We are advocating God’s rights first, to which all of man’s rights must be subordinated.
If we deny God’s rights, then man’s rights will be eroded under the laws of men. The only way to have equal justice for all is to start with the First Commandment, recognizing God’s right to rule by His laws. A new day is dawning, and the work is enormous. Babylon has destroyed so much of God’s creation. Ignorance abounds. Entire cultures need to change in order to conform to God’s way of doing things. Minds need to be renewed, so that we all think as God thinks.
Dr. Stephen Jones