Author: Ron Graham
Time ~ 11. Dawning of New Israel
Span ~ 70 years
Books ~ Acts, the Epistles, Revelation
Figures ~ Peter Paul
Begins with ~ Death of Jesus
We now enter the eleventh of the Times of Israel. This period —Dawning of the New Israel— sees the kingdom of Heaven come into being and spread across the world. The apostles were active in this time. This period covers about 70 years from the death of Jesus until the end of the first century.
This lesson covers the seven weeks of the "beginning in Jerusalem" from Christ’s burial to the day of Pentecost. We look especially at what happened on the day of Pentecost, as being a key day in the establishment of God's new kingdom.
Before he died, Jesus said, "Thus it is written, that the Messiah should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47).
Jesus also had said to his apostles, "You shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
Jesus arose from the dead, and, after 40 days in which he appeared many times to his disciples, he ascended into heaven. Within 50 days of his death, he had established his kingdom in Jerusalem —based on his personal ministry, and made possible by his death on the cross, his resurrection from the tomb, his ascension into heaven, and his accession to the throne.
The kingdom was established in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. From there, our Lord’s apostles carried on the preaching, to establish Christ's kingdom across the world and for the world. With churches formed in many towns and cities, the kingdom spread outward to fill the whole earth —just as the vision in Daniel 2 had predicted when the stone that struck the feet of the image then turned into a great mountain that filled the whole world.
Among other events, God gave amazing miraculous powers to many Christians, the apostle Paul and others in the course of their ministry wrote the scriptures we call the New Testament, and in AD70 the Roman armies destroyed Jerusalem and its temple, as Jesus himself had foretold.
We studied the Throne of David previously, but here is a reminder...
From the point of view of our study of the "Times of Israel", a most important statement is made by Peter about Jesus Christ.
"Because he was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn with an oath to seat one of his descendants upon his throne, David looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of Christ" (Acts 2:30-31).
Notice that it is in the resurrection of Christ —not his second coming— that the throne promise is fulfilled.
In past lessons, we have learned about this seed promise and the oath which confirmed it. Now we see it come to pass in the resurrection and ascension of Christ and his outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost signifying that he is now Lord and Christ on David’s throne (Acts 2:31-36).
This means that David’s throne is in heaven, no more an earthly throne, but one and the same as the throne of God on high. So his kingdom is now, and always will remain, a spiritual kingdom whose throne is in heaven.