The Warning of the Kingdom!

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Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at Hand  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:02:09
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Finishing or Fulfilling the Law
Imagine a world that has not heard a fresh message from God for over 400 years.
Imagine a nation that forsook God and hence God had brought them into captivity.
Imagine a priesthood that has taken the covenantal relationship between God and His people and added to, taken away, and twisted it to benefit their perspective.
Imagine a world focused on the outer man when God was wanting to focus on the inner man.
Imagine God as He looks down and views a people that knew the scripture but didn’t know the God of scripture.
So God becomes flesh in order to redeem this world and restore them to a relationship not with His words but with Himself.
Jesus comes on the scene appearing in Israel, His chosen people; He appeared rather suddenly, startlingly, in a dramatic way.
For 30 years, He had been there, but no one really knew about it. He was in obscurity in Nazareth, but all of a sudden, at His baptism, Jesus hit the scene.
The first 30 years of His life on earth had been lived in privacy outside his own little circle; He had done little traveling and attracted very little attention except for that time when he was 12 and was perplexing the teachers.
But as soon as He appeared in public and was baptized, the eyes of everyone were fixed on Him. Even the leaders of Israel had to focus in on Him and look at Him and hear Him and watch Him.
Of course, Jesus was meek and possessed a beautiful humility that made Him easily distinguishable from the rest of the leaders in Israel who were proud, boastful, hypocritical, always looking for some way to lift themselves up, some way to boost or increase themselves.
Jesus called to repentance and His proclamation of the Gospel and His announcement of a Kingdom made people listen, and made them wonder, “What kind of a ruler is this? What kind of a prophet is this?” Was He a revolutionary? He was so different. What was His attitude toward the Mosaic Law?
Jesus is going about Galilee
Matthew 4:23 (KJV 1900)
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
The salt was permeating, the light was radiating.
Matthew 4:24 (KJV 1900)
24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Matthew 4:25 KJV 1900
25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
Matthew 5:1 KJV 1900
1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
and He preaches His first recorded sermon, He begins with the word “Blessed”
Matthew 5:3 (KJV 1900)
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
saying, “If you are tired of earth on earth, and if you would rather experience heaven on earth, then we need to seek God in the inner man that He might change the outer man from our perspective to His perspective.”
Jesus was sent for salvation to give us access into Heaven and His Word is given for sanctification in order to make us look like heaven on earth.
Remember, we reflecting the light, we are not the light.
And as we conform our perspective to His perspective we become salt and light, drawing people away from earthly perspective to heavenly perspective.
Jesus was proclaiming grace and dispensing mercy, and their natural reaction was, “Is this a revolutionary new thing? I mean, He doesn’t sound like the rest of the people we hear, like the scribes and Pharisees,” so they were wondering,
Is He tearing down the Old Testament?
Is He destroying all the absolutes of the Mosaic Law?
Is He removing the foundations for some new thing?”
After all, it is the way of most revolutionary leaders to sever all ties with the past and do everything they can to completely renounce the traditions that have gone before.
As a matter of fact, where all the scribes and Pharisees were always expounding the law, Jesus wouldn’t do that. He was busy talking about grace and mercy.
Where the Pharisees and Scribes were binding the law on people, He was busy forgiving people.
Where they were always talking about the outside, He was always talking about the inside. He even blasted away at some of the most sacred of their traditions.
Is this a new theology?
And right here, right now, Jesus puts it all into perspective.
How many of you are struggling to balance law and justice with mercy and grace?
How many of you find it easy to live Heavenly, Godly, or as Jesus states, the beatitudes every day, every hour?
Is it really easy to live as salt and light?
How can we be that?
How can we live that way?” The answer comes immediately in verse 17,
“You must uphold the word of God.”
Matthew 5:17–20 (KJV 1900)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Think Not!

We have a problem today with a standard.
If we have standard that is too high to achieve, we just lower the rules so the standard can be achieved.
How many of you have lowered the basketball goal so you could dunk?
How many of you have moved the mound closer to the plate so you could throw faster and more accurate?
How many of you have moved the homerun fence so you can hit it out of the park?
See, we have a problem with standards because not everyone can achieve the standard.
One standard I want to point out is what we call relative morality. In other words, morality is determined by what is close, pertaining, or relevant to me.
The problem is we are trying to radiate the Light of God without being permeated with God. We are making morality about us and from us. Remember, we are sinners.
Romans 3:23 KJV 1900
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Paul quotes from Psalm 14.
Romans 3:10–18 (KJV 1900)
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Jeremiah 17:9 KJV 1900
9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Listen, If there is no absolute truth, and no absolute word, and no God who sets the standard, then there can be absolutely be no real law.
The simple fact that we have morality or a sense of right and wrong declares there is a God.
You will never get people to keep laws that are only judicial guesses to be ultimately decided on by a higher court in a particular time frame that can be changed as the wind of reasoning blows.
Harold J. Berman, who is a professor of law at Harvard University in a recent book entitled The Interaction of Law and Religion, summits that you cannot have law, or rules for behavior, without religion, because it is religion that provides the absolute base for morality and law.
As a nation, as church, as a society, we have broken away from religion, from the concept of God, from absolute truth, and therefore we are stuck with subjective relativism when it comes to making laws.
He goes on to say that
law and religion will stand together or law and religion will fall together.
Religion-less law could never command authority; there must be a transcendent value, a super-rational absolute.
So we ask ourselves,
What is the absolute source of truth?
What is the absolute standard of morality?
What is the absolute rule of justice?
Where does this evil society, floating on a sea of relativism, find its anchor?
That’s the question.
Is there a standard to live by?
Is there an absolute authority?
Is there an unchanging authority, and divine law?
In Christianity, the questions are
Is the Old Testament binding on the Christian?
How much of it is binding for the Christian?
Is the Old Testament totally commanded of us?
Do we have to fulfill all those things?
How important are all those things?”
Many of the Jews of Jesus’ day thought the Messiah would come and destroy the Old covenant. They misinterpreted
Jeremiah 31:31 (KJV 1900)
31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, That I will make a new covenant With the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jesus comes along and says, “I am introducing a new order.”, Not the kingdom of Israel, not an earthly kingdom but the Kingdom of Heaven.
He told them even to disregard the Sabbath; He violated many of their traditions, and it was natural for them to think of that.
He rather ruthlessly swept away their traditions and tithings of minuscule things; He mocked their constant washings. He disregarded their oral and scribal law; (their interpretation and watering down of the law)
He interpreted the written law in a totally different way than they did. He spoke as one having authority, but in no way was He revolting from the Old Testament; in no way was His gospel a gospel of indulgence.
Jesus understood the Old Testament and its Importance.
The Word of God is the standard of righteousness!
The Word of God, then, becomes the standard of righteousness.
The key to a permeating, radiating life, attracting life, a righteous life, is keeping the Word of God.
Remember, Blessed has to do with more than being happy. It has the connotation of being approved by God.
Therefore,
The goal is to please God because ONLY when we are in the WILL of God performing the DUTY of God will we be HAPPY.
Religion had become Frustrated rather than Fulfilled. In other words, destroyed instead of blessed.
How many of you are truly fulfilled?
How many of you are satisfied, filled with joy and peace, assurance, spiritual satisfaction?
How many of you are blessed?
That’s why Jesus says,
THINK NOT!
Matthew 5:17–18 (KJV 1900)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Testify!

Jesus is speaking.
Who is Jesus?
God in the flesh.
Jesus said,
John 14:9 (KJV 1900)
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
John 10:30 KJV 1900
30 I and my Father are one.
This Jesus says He did not come to destroy the law.
Jesus can not do anything outside of who He is.
God is unchangeable and holy.
Jesus would never destroy what He Himself created.

The Law was Authored by God

Exodus 20:1–2 (KJV 1900)
1 And God spake all these words, saying,
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
The law is the uncompromising standard of God. The law was the school mechanism to which the holiness of God was to be understood in sinful mankind.
The law as seen in Exodus and Leviticus is actually divided into 3 parts.
The Moral law - which applied to everyone.
The Judicial or Civil law - Was designed for Israel as nation to show how Israel was to live with each other and the nations around them. They had certain dietary laws, certain laws of dress, of agriculture, laws within their relationships with certain things they had to do. These set them apart.
God’s people are no longer located in a race of people, but rather under the umbrella of God’s authority and sovereign rule.
The Ceremonial law - was designed as a means of Israel’s worship of God; restoring relationship and interact with God through the sacrifices.
Understand this, The law of God is not something you just adjust and adapt to whatever sin is going on in our society today.
You can’t pick and choose which laws you like and don’t like.
Why? The Law was Authored by God.

The Law was Affirmed by the Prophets

The prophets reiterated and reenforced the law.
The prophets would say to the people of Israel, for example, “You had better keep God’s law. You’re breaking His law and falling away from it.”
Sometimes they talked about Israel’s failure to keep the moral law, sometimes they failed to keep the judicial law. How many times did He say to Israel, “There are unjust judges?”
Sometimes they failed to keep the ceremonial law.
Sometimes, He said they had not done their sacrifices but rather had sacrificed unto false gods.
So the prophets constantly proclaimed the same thing: keep the moral law, and the judicial law which sets you apart as a unique nation, and keep the ceremonial law which is God’s definition of the pattern and standard for your worship.
In fact, the best definition of a prophet that I know of is in Exodus 4:16.
In an excellent way, God, by the analogy of Moses and Aaron, gives us the definition of a prophet. This is what God says to Moses about Aaron,
Exodus 4:16 (KJV 1900)
16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.
“And he shall be as a mouth for you, and you shall be to him as God.”
That’s what a prophet is—a mouth for God.
Jeremiah 1 talks about the same thing: Jeremiah being a mouth for God. God says,
Jeremiah 1:7 (KJV 1900)
7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
So prophets just reiterated the law of God, spoke out the law of God.
With the affirmation of the prophets, this helps us determine what part of the law Jesus is referring.
You see,
Sometimes they used the term law to speak of the Ten Commandments.
Sometimes they used the word “law” to speak of the Pentateuch, or the five books of Moses. All these laws in entirety.
Sometimes they used the word “law” to speak of the whole Old Testament,
but MOST USUALLY, when they used the word ‘law,’ they weren’t speaking of the Ten Commandments, the Pentateuch, or the whole Old Testament, but they were talking about the oral, scribal traditions that they had been receiving from these various rabbis. In other words,
Jesus put it right in Matthew 15,
Matthew 15:2–3 KJV 1900
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. 3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
“You have substituted the traditions of men for the law of God.”
If you will read Matthew 15, you will find Jesus was set on destroying their law and did not accept their traditions, because their traditions and their law moved the standard.
So, Let me help you to see what Jesus means by ‘the law’ here.
Out of the first three, It could be that Jesus means the Ten Commandments, or it could be that Jesus means more than that, the Pentateuch, the writings of Moses or it could mean the whole Old Testament.
How do we know? Watch.
Matthew 5:17 (KJV 1900)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
“Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets.” That settles it.
When you see the term ‘the law and the prophets’ together, that is a reference to the whole Old Testament.
It is used that way 12 times in the New Testament. Twelve times, the New Testament refers to the Old Testament as the law and the prophets.
Let me give you some synonyms.
Whenever, in the New Testament, you see the terms ‘law, law of God, law and prophets, Scriptures,’ or, ‘Word of God,’ they are synonyms for the Old Testament, in most cases. Unless the context gives you a narrower definition, those terms refer to the whole Old Testament.
What is Jesus saying, then? “I have not come to destroy the whole Old Testament, I have come to fulfill it.”
Matthew 5:17 (KJV 1900)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The Law was Accomplished by Jesus Christ.

It’s a great statement. Man, if those Jews had been tuned in that day, they would have known that they were staring face to face with the theme of the whole Old Testament.
They were looking right into the eyes of the one who was the consummation of the entire Old Testament, the one spoken of in the law, the one spoken of in the prophets; this was He standing in front of them. He was the one who came to fulfill the whole thing.
When Jesus said, “But to fulfill,” at the end of verse 17,
He was saying, “The whole law I will fulfill.”
Every bit of it.
Either in His first coming, (he fulfilled the moral law) His return in the Spirit,(he fulfills the judicial or civil law or in His Second Coming,(he fulfills the ceremonial law)
Jesus will fulfill the whole Old Testament ceremonially, judicially, and morally.
It’s a tremendous truth!
Scripture finds its fullest meaning in Him. Some people say the Old Testament is not complete, but it is complete. It is all that God wanted it to be, an absolutely wondrous, perfect, complete picture of the coming King and His Kingdom. The King came to fulfill it all.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).
And yet, the Bible says that all things were made by Jesus (John 1:3). And, you see, it’s all about the Lord Jesus Christ.
You know,
in Genesis, He’s the seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15).
In Exodus, He’s the Passover lamb (Exodus 12:21).
In Leviticus, He is our atoning sacrifice.
In Numbers, He is the smitten rock (Numbers 20:11).
In Deuteronomy, He is that prophet who is to come (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18).
In Joshua, He is the captain of the Lord’s hosts (Joshua 5:14).
In Judges, He is the deliverer of God’s people (Judges 3:9, 15).
In Ruth, He is our kinsmen redeemer (Ruth 4:5–6).
In 1 Samuel, He is the anointed One (1 Samuel 16:13).
In 2 Samuel, He is the king enthroned.
In 1 Kings, He is the glory of the Lord filling the Temple (1 Kings 8:11).
In 2 Kings, He is the royal seed.
In 1 Chronicles, He is the glorious king.
In 2 Chronicles, He is the Lord who appears to Solomon (2 Chronicles 7:12).
In Ezra, He is “the LORD God of our fathers” (Ezra 7:27).
In Nehemiah, He is the restorer of Israel.
In Esther, He is the advocate who pleads for His people.
In Job, He is my Redeemer that I know lives and shall stand upon the earth (Job 19:25).
In the Book of Psalms, He is the Shepherd (Psalm 23:1); He is the King of glory (Psalm 24:7–10).
In Ecclesiastes, He is the significance of life.
In Song Of Solomon, the Lord Jesus Christ is the heavenly bridegroom.
In Isaiah, He is Immanuel, God with us (Isaiah 7:14). He is “Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), the virgin-born Son of God (Isaiah 7:14).
In Jeremiah, He is the divine potter who is molding and making our lives (Jeremiah 18:1–6).
In Lamentations, He is the brokenhearted Jehovah who weeps over us.
In Ezekiel, He is the glory of God.
In Daniel, He is that stone cut out of a mountain without hands that will smite the image of this ungodly world upon it’s feet and then become a kingdom that will fill this earth (Daniel 2:34–35).
In Hosea, the Lord Jesus is the child called out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1).
In Joel, He is the Lord that roars out of Zion (Joel 3:16).
In Amos, Jesus is the judge of the nations.
In Obadiah, He is the Lord of the coming Kingdom.
In Jonah, He is God’s messenger to the Gentiles.
In Micah, He is Bethlehem’s baby, the One who is going to be the ruler of Israel (Micah 5:2).
In Nahum, He is “a strong hold in the day of trouble” (Nahum 1:7).
In Habakkuk, He is the Lord in His holy temple (Habakkuk 2:20).
In Zephaniah, He is the king of Israel (Zephaniah 3:15).
In Haggai, He is the Lord of hosts.
In Zechariah, He is the Lord coming into Jerusalem riding upon a colt (Zechariah 9:9).
In Malachi, He is the coming messenger (Malachi 3:1), the Sun of righteousness with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).
Let’s look at some scripture:
Luke 16:16 KJV 1900
16 The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
Luke 24:27 KJV 1900
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke 24:44 KJV 1900
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
Let me give it to you simply. He fulfilled the whole Old Testament law by being its fulfillment. Not by what He said or did, so much, but by what He was.
You say, “What does that mean?” What I mean is that He didn’t come just to rescue the law from rabbinical perversion or just to be a model of righteousness. He came to bring in everlasting righteousness by being the Messiah the law predicted. In other words, it was what He was as much as what He did and said.
You cannot understand God’s Word until you understand God.
2 Corinthians 4:1–6 KJV 1900
1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Who are you relying on?
Who are you crediting the glory of Salvation?
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