Last Days Prophecy
HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Christ Jesus as Our King
His Ascension to Heaven
Act 1:6-11 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (KJV)
Jesus Christ, like the mustard seed in the parable, starts out “small” in how He reveals Himself in the time leading up to His rule. The account of Christ’s Ascension to Heaven holds an important clue that most never see. The apostles asked the question: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
After His answer the Bible goes on, And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked steadfastly toward Heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel. These two men, I am sure, were angels, asked Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. The phrase “this same Jesus” in referring to Jesus is important. The angels were stressing that Jesus would Return in the exact same human form in which He had when He ascended.
So, it is not surprising that Christ Jesus is so often called “the Son of Man.” I feel sure that this is because He plans to continue at first, His first-century form when He Returns.
Jer.23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. 6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. (KJV)
The prophet Jeremiah described Christ in His expanding Kingdom by an uncommon name “Branch” while also calling Him its King. The Messiah is pictured as a branch (a shoot), out of David’s family tree (Jer.33:15-16; Isa. 4:2; 11:1-5; Zec. 3:8; 6:12-13), who will rule over God’s people in the future (Jer. 33:14-17), where the same Promise is repeated.
The phrase the days come refers to the Messianic era (Jer.31:27-40), when the Righteous Branch (Zec. 3:8; 6:12; Isa. 11:1), of the LORD (Isa. 4:2), will grow up unto David (Jer.33:15).
The Righteous Branch refers to the future Messiah who would be the rightful heir that would emerge from the line of David like a branch sprouting from a tree stump (Zec. 3:8; 6:12). Opposite of wicked King Zedekiah, whose name means The Lord our Righteousness, Jesus as Messiah will truly live up to His Name and will rule over His people in righteousness (Isa.11:4-5).
This is a prophecy about the Coming Messiah. Christ Jesus was their Messiah. He is the righteous Branch. He was the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He was of the house of David. His Father was God. When it speaks of His reign, it is speaking of Him coming back to the Earth as King of kings and Lord of lords (1 Tim.6:15; Rev.17:14; 19:16). He (Christ Jesus), is the Righteous Judge. He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS. The Hebrew for “Branch” is sprout, and like mustard seeds, sprouts are also tiny to begin. This “sprout” depiction is completely incompatible with an all-powerful Jesus Christ returning in glorified form.
Ten chapters later Jeremiah adds more, confirming something vital about sprouts:
Jer. 33:15-16 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 6 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. (KJV)
Another prophecy about Christ comes from the angel Gabriel to Mary: Luke 1:32-33 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (KJV)
At Jesus’ mustard seed Coming . . . really His revealing . . . Luke 17:29-30 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. (KJV) . . . Christ sits on King David’s throne before assuming His own throne later in Jerusalem.
Zechariah Chapter 6 powerfully confirms Jeremiah, and also pictures growth of a worldwide rule. Zec. 6:12-13 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (KJV)
It is the Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, that is meant here. Messiah is His Name.
The idea in "a Branch," is that Christ's glory is growing, and has not yet fully manifested as a full-grown tree. So many people get discouraged and scoff at Jesus' Coming again (2 Pet.3:4). Because of this men reject Him, which is a horrible mistake, because He IS coming back (Ps.98:9; Dan.7:13-14; Zec.14:5; Mat.10:23; 16:27; 24:36,44; 25:32; 26:64; Mk.13:26,32-37; 14:62; Lk.9:26; 19:15; 21:27; Jn.14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Cor.11:26; 15:23; Phil.3:20-21; Col.3:4; 1 Thes.4:11-18; 5:2,23; 2 Thes.3:10-12; 1 Tim.6:14; 2 Tim.4:1; Tit.2:13; Heb.9:28; 10:37; 2 Pet.3:10; Jude 1:14-15; Rev.19:11-21; 22:20).
And he shall grow up out of his place . . . although some may think (or hope) that the root is dead, it certainly is NOT so! Isaiah 53:2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. (KJV) . . . The Branch shall spring up, Messiah, King and Priest, shall come when the time is exactly right!
"Out of His place" . . . out of David's root, tribe, and family. See, Messianic prophecies: http://www.lastdaysprophecy.org/L_D_messianic_prophecies.htm
Verse 13 clearly involves Christ Jesus ruling in glory from a physical Temple.
Even he shall build the temple of the Lord . . . this is repeated, to confirm.
And he shall bear the glory . . . in building the Temple; means that the glory of it shall be upon Him, and shall "hang upon him" (Isa.22:24), thus being visible, for He will have "many crowns" on His head (Rev.19:12), put there by all the saints (Rev.4:10), who every one of them ascribe glory to Him (Deut.32:3; Job 36:3; Ps.29:1-2; 96:3,7,8; 138:5); that it would continue, and NOT pass away like the glory of this world; and that He, and He alone, should bear it; NOT Joshua, NOT Zerubbabel, NOT the ministers of the word, NOT members of churches, NOT any other, just Jesus; He, and He alone shall be exalted!
And shall sit and rule upon his throne . . . He rules over the whole world, and the kings of it in general, and in specific over His saints, by His Spirit, the Word, and ordinates, feeding, protecting and defending them.
Christ as King: (Ps.2:6; 45:1; Isa.9:7; 32:1; Jer.23:5; Eze.21:27; 37:25; Dan.7:14; Mic.5:2; Zec.6:13; 9:9; Mat.2:2; 16:28; 21:5; 25:34,40; 27:11,37; Mk.11:10; 15:2,26; Lk.1:33; 19:12,38; 23:3; Jn.1:49; 12:13; 18:33,37; 19:14,19; Acts 2:30; 17:7; Rom.15:12; 1 Cor.15:25; Eph.1:22; 1 Tim.6:15; Rev.3:7; 14:14; 19:15-16).
Zec. 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. (KJV)
The first half of the verse describes building the spiritual Temple, which we will see is the Church. This fits perfectly with: Mal. 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV)
This describes Christ returning to Earth to His Temple. This cannot be a physical Temple in Jerusalem because none exists there today. The Jews do not even occupy the Temple Mount! Malachi says Christ coming to His Temple means to a people who seek and desire Him. The apostle Paul clearly stated this Temple was the Church.
1 Cor. 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (KJV)
1 Cor. 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (KJV)
And what does the apostle Peter say about TRUE Christians?
1 Peter 2:4-5 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (KJV)
Peter says that Christians are like ‘living stones.' Jesus makes us alive in our spirit, by His Spirit (Rom.8:9; 1 Pet.1:11). God lives in Christians. God does NOT live in a physical building (1 Cor.6:19). When the Temple was built, the builders made the walls with stones. God builds a spiritual house with people. When people become Christians, they become part of the church. God is holy, so He wants us to live as holy people (1 Pet.1:15-16).
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