Yeshua ("Jesus") began his earthly ministry by preaching these words to the people of Galilee;
"The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of Elohim ("God") is at hand: repent ye, and believe the good news ("gospel")." Mark 1:15, KJV
With those words, Yeshua taught the people of the nearness of the coming Kingdom of Elohim and that it necessitates repentance. Repentance means to turn away from one's sins (transgressions of Yahweh's laws - 1 John 3:4) and begin obeying the very laws that were being transgressed. It requires a change of mind concerning one's relationship with the Creator, Yahweh. This change of mind is from disobedience to obedience out of regret for past sins and behaviors that were contrary to the Almighty's will. It also blossoms out of a heartfelt love for Yahweh and a desire to live according to His revealed will. That will is revealed in Torah ( the laws and teachings of Yahweh).
The Apostle Paul understood the importance of repentance as it relates to the Kingdom as well. In responding to the Elders of the assembly at Ephesus, Paul said;
"And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward Elohim, and faith toward our Master Yeshua Messiah. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Spirit witnesses in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Master Yeshua, to testify the good news of the grace of Elohim. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of Elohim, shall see my face no more." Acts 20:20-25.
Why would Yeshua and Paul make repentance a prerequisite to the Kingdom? Every kingdom, whether earthly or heavenly, is governed by laws. Without law chaos would reign. Every man would do as he pleased resulting in the soon collapse of such a kingdom. A similar fate struck Israel. In that case, the Kingdom of Yahweh did not collapse, but was taken away from Israel because of their sins.
"What?" some may say. "Didn't Yeshua say the Kingdom of Elohim was at hand? How can you say the Kingdom of Yahweh over Israel was taken away if it hadn't even come yet?"
The Scriptures do not leave us ignorant concerning this matter.
Let's begin with 1 Chr.28:1-5;
"And David assembled all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, and the captains of the companies that ministered to the king by course, and the captains over the thousands, and captains over the hundreds, and the stewards over all the substance and possession of the king, and of his sons, with the officers, and with the mighty men, and with all the valiant men, unto Jerusalem. Then David the king stood up upon his feet, and said, Hear me, my brethren, and my people: As for me, I had in mine heart to build an house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and for the footstool of our Elohim, and had made ready for the building: But Elohim said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. Howbeit Yahweh Elohim of Israel chose me before all the house of my father to be king over Israel for ever: for He hath chosen Judah to be the ruler; and of the house of Judah, the house of my father; and among the sons of my father He liked me to make me king over all Israel: And of all my sons, (for Yahweh hath given me many sons,) He hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of Yahweh over Israel." 1 Chronicles 28:1-5, KJV.
Yahweh Himself chose Solomon to sit on "the throne of the Kingdom of Yahweh over Israel". The Kingdom was on this earth thousands of years ago and Solomon ruled it.
Notice, also, that Yahweh chose David to be king over Israel forever (vs.4). Forever did not end at David's death, but will never end. As long as Israel exists, David will be its king. This would require David's resurrection in the future and the continuance of Israel forever.
1 Chr.29:10,11, 22, 23, teach us that the Kingdom of Israel is Yahweh's Kingdom and that David ruled that same Kingdom before Solomon succeeded him.
"Wherefore David blessed Yahweh before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Yahweh Elohim of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O Yahweh, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the Kingdom, O Yahweh, and thou art exalted as head above all. . . . And did eat and drink before Yahweh on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto Yahweh to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest. Then Solomon sat on the throne of Yahweh as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him." 1 Chronicles 29:10,11,22, 23.
Yahweh has sworn to David that his descendants would always sit upon the throne of His Kingdom. However, that promise was conditional upon the obedience of David's children to the covenant laws that governed the Kingdom (Ps. 132:11,12; 1 Kgs 2:1-4).
Psalm 132:11,12 says;
"Yahweh hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore." Psalms 132:11,12.
We see, in 1 Kgs.11:9-11, that David's son Solomon would fail to keep those covenant laws.
"And Yahweh was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from Yahweh Elohim of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, And had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other elohim: but he kept not that which Yahweh commanded. Wherefore Yahweh said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and thou hast not kept my covenant and my statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend the Kingdom from thee, and will give it to thy servant." 1 Kings 11:9-11.
Solomon's idolatry cost him the Kingdom. Yahweh rent it from him and gave ten tribes to Solomon's servant's son Jeroboam (vs.31). For David and Jreusalem's sake, Yahweh did not remove His entire Kingdom, but gave one tribe to Solomon's son Rehoboam (vs.32, 36).
Rehoboam's Kingdom was called, "the Kingdom of Yahweh in the hand of the son of David" in 2 Chr.13:8.
Israel continued to reject the laws of the Kingdom until Yahweh brought the Assyrians upon them to carry them out of His sight.
"Yet Yahweh testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in Yahweh their Elohim. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom Yahweh had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of Yahweh their Elohim, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger. Therefore Yahweh was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah kept not the commandments of Yahweh their Elohim, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And Yahweh rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until He had cast them out of his sight. For He rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drove Israel from following Yahweh, and made them sin a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until Yahweh removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day." 2 Kings 17:13-23.
King Saul's disobedience cost him the Kingdom as well. Failure to obey led Samuel to say to Saul;
"Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of Yahweh thy Elohim, which he commanded thee: for now would Yahweh have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: Yahweh hath sought him a man after his own heart, and Yahweh hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which Yahweh commanded thee." 1 Samuel 13:13,14.
Judah would soon follow in the footsteps of the ten tribes by being taken into captivity by the king of Babylon because of their sins.
"And Yahweh sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of Yahweh, which He spoke by His servants the prophets. At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. . . .And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valor, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land." 2 Kings 24:2, 10, 14.
Through the fate of Israel and Judah, we learn that repentance and obedience are crucial to living a peaceful, blessed life in the Kingdom. This is why Yeshua preached repentance to Israel prior to the Kingdom coming again. Without a change of heart concerning obeying the laws of the Kingdom, entrance would be denied.
Yeshua's call to repentance raises another question. Why would he call Israel to repent of their transgressions against old covenant laws if those laws would no longer be binding under the new covenant? The answer is, he wouldn't. He called them to repent of transgressions against old covenant laws because those same laws would govern the coming Kingdom.
When Yahweh gave Jeremiah his prophecy of the new covenant in Jer.31:31-33. He said He would write His laws upon the hearts of new covenant Israelites. What laws? The only laws that existed at that time, old covenant laws. They would be carried over into the new covenant, with the exception of those that were fulfilled by Messiah such as animal sacrifices or those related to the Temple, but the administration of it would be different. There would no longer be a condemnatory function of the law for those who walk in the Spirit of the new covenant. Please read, "The Law and the New Covenant Believer" for a more detailed explanation of this.
Was Yeshua's message of a coming Kingdom something new to Israel? Not at all. Mk.15:43 tells us Joseph of Arimathaea "waited for the Kingdom of Elohim." This was a common hope among the Jews. They knew the Kingdom was taken from them and they awaited its return to them. It was that hope that prompted the disciples to ask Yeshua the following question;
"Master, will you at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?" Acts 1:6.
Yeshua, knowing perfectly well that the disciples were referring to the same kingdom he preached about, did not correct any erroneous thinking on their part, but simply said it was not for them to know when that time would be.
Israel was a nation that not only anticipated the restoration of the Kingdom to them, but they longed for it. This was especially true at a time in their history when they were subjects to Roman rule. That is why the preaching of the coming Kingdom was indeed good news!
Yeshua was called and sent to preach that good news to the people of Capernaum of Galilee. When the people implored him to not depart from them, he said;
"I must preach the Kingdom of Elohim to other cities also: for therefore am I sent." Luke 4:43.
Yahweh did not send Yeshua to preach the good news to the entire world, but only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt.15:24). Yeshua commissioned his twelve disciples to a similar mission. Mt.10:5-7 reads;
"These twelve Yeshua sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 10:5-7.
David prophesied that Yahweh's saints would preach this Kingdom message when he wrote;
"All thy works shall praise thee, O Yahweh; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy Kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his Kingdom. Thy Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations." Psalms 145:10-13.
Eventually, the commission extended beyond the twelve disciples and beyond the borders of Israel. Shortly before his ascension, our Savior commissioned the twelve to;
"Go ye into all the world, and preach the good news to every creature." Mark 16:15.
In Acts 8:1-4, we learn that after the stoning of Stephen, Saul began to wreak havoc upon the believers in Jerusalem. This resulted in a scattering of the believers throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.
In Acts 8:12, we see Philip successfully preaching the Kingdom and preaching Messiah unto the Samaritans. Shortly afterwards, Saul was converted to the faith. From then on, there was no stopping the spread of the good news of the coming Kingdom of Elohim. Paul, in writing to the Colossians, said the good news was "preached to every creature under heaven."
Paul continued to preach this Kingdom message throughout his life. The last record we have of Paul's ministry states;
ŇAnd when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of Elohim, persuading them concerning Yeshua, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of Elohim, and teaching those things which concern the Master Yeshua Messiah, with all confidence, no man forbidding him." Acts 28:23, 30,31.
Every kingdom has a king. Yahweh's Kingdom is no different. John 1:49 says;
"Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of Elohim; thou art the King of Israel." John 1:49.
If only the rest of the world would have believed as readily as Nathanael did.
John also records the following about Yeshua's mission;
"Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Yeshua answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." John 18:37.
The angel Gabriel prophesied to Miriam of the honor and position of Yeshua as the King over Yahweh's coming Kingdom.
"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Yeshua. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and Yahweh Elohim shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Luke 1:31-33.
Hundreds of years before Yeshua was even born, the prophets declared his reign as King over Israel.
"Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Yahweh of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:7.
"Behold, the days come, saith Yahweh, 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." Jeremiah 23:5.
Hebrews 1:8 says of Yahweh's Son;
"Thy throne, O elohim, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom." Hebrews 1:8.
In Rev.19:16, we see Yahweh's Son Yeshua coming out of heaven to make war against the wicked. The name written on his vesture reads, "King of kings". He will not be the only king to rule in the Kingdom of Yahweh. The saints that overcome will rule the nations as well.
"And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father." Revelation 2:26,27.
King David's government over Israel was a type of King Yeshua's government over the world. King David sat upon the throne of Yahweh over Israel and King Yeshua will sit on the throne of Yahweh over the world. King David had 288,000 men that served him and helped him rule Israel (1 Chr.27:1-15). King Yeshua will have 288,000 saints to help him rule the world in righteousness (Rev.7:4; 14:1). For a deeper study on this, click here.
As I mentioned earlier, every kingdom has laws to govern the behavior of its citizens. The Kingdom of Yahweh is no different. New covenant law, written on the hearts of the repentant, will be the rule of life in the Kingdom. Those that desire to live in the Kingdom of Yahweh will embrace those laws and obey them even now before the Kingdom comes, not as a means to enter the Kingdom (salvation by works), but as a fruit of their salvation and love for Yahweh.
"For this is the love of [Yahweh], that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous." 1 John 5:3.
Yahweh had this to say about the king that sits upon the throne of the Kingdom over Israel;
"When thou art come unto the land which Yahweh thy Elohim giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom Yahweh thy Elohim shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother. . . . And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear Yahweh his Elohim, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel." Deuteronomy 17:14,15, 18-20.
King Yeshua showed the law even more respect and honor, for he taught us, in the sermon on the mount, to obey the deeper meaning of the law, not merely its letter (Mt.5:21, 22, 27, 28).
There is only one "way" to enter the Kingdom and that is through the "door", Yeshua the Messiah.
"Yeshua saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber . . . Then said Yeshua unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep . . . I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture." John 10:1, 7, 9.
However, thee are also certain conditions that must be met in order to gain entrance into the Kingdom.
1) A new birth - John 3:3-5
"Yeshua answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Elohim. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Yeshua answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of Elohim."
2) Faith and a love for Yahweh - James 2:5
"Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not Elohim chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?"
3) Endurance - Acts 14:22
"Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of Elohim."
4) Compassion - Mt.25:34,35
"Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:"
5) Not looking back - Luke 9:62
"And Yeshua said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of Elohim."
6) Humility - Mt.18:3,4
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."
7) Turning away from unrighteousness - 1 Cor.6:9,10
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of Elohim."
8) A resurrection from the dead through Messiah Yeshua
"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of Elohim; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption."
9) Not doing the works of the flesh - Gal.5:19-21
"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of Elohim."
10) A heart that doesn't trust in riches - Mt.19:23,24
"Then said Yeshua unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Elohim."
11) Obedience to the Father - Mt.7:21
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
12) Obedience to the Son - Heb.5:9
"And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;"
In Mt.6:10, Yeshua taught his disciples to pray, "thy Kingdom come . . ." When it does come, it will destroy all other governments / kingdoms on earth as prophesied by Daniel.
"And in the days of these kings shall the Elohim of heaven set up a Kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the Kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." Daniel 2:44.
The Hebrew for "break in pieces" means to "crush". This will not be a physical crushing as an earthly army might crush the enemy with tanks and air strikes. Rev.19:14,15, 19-21 tell us the enemies of Yeshua will be slain by the "sword" of his words.
"And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty [Yahweh] . . . And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." Revelation 19:14, 15, 19-21.
Rev.11:15 says the kingdoms or governments of this planet will become Yahweh's and Yeshua's. The leaders will be overthrown and Yeshua's Kingdom government will begin to rule the world from Jerusalem. At that time, the law of Yahweh will go forth out of Zion (Jerusalem) unto all the nations.
"The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of Yahweh'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 people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the Elohim 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 the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of Yahweh." Isaiah 2:1-5.
A time of unprecedented peace will blanket the earth as Yeshua and his resurrected saints rule in righteousness. Those believers that live by faith and Yahweh's Torah (law) today are in training to begin their rule. People that refuse to obey Yahweh's commandments, including His Sabbaths, Feast Days, laws of purity and holiness, etc., will find themselves, at best, to be the least in the Kingdom as our Savior Yeshua taught in Mt.5:17-19;
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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. 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." Matthew 5:17-19.
Friend, I hope you have ears to hear what the true good news (gospel) of the Kingdom of heaven is and a heart of love for your Creator, Yahweh, that you may believe and obey.
"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of [Yahweh]; And He shall send Yeshua Messiah, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which [[Yahweh]] hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-21.
"From that time Yeshua began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17, KJV.