Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”[Revelation 11:15]
The Day of the LORD is that unique Day when the King of heaven returns to earth to claim what rightfully belongs to Him and to sit down in triumph upon His throne. It is the Day when the Lord’s Prayer is realized. As Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” He was referring to the Day of the LORD.
I have written extensively about Jesus coming on the clouds as the Warrior King who treads the winepress of the wrath of God and crushes the heads of His enemies — both spiritual and physical. After the Lord Jesus strikes down the nations with a rod of iron, He will sit down on the throne of David as the King of Righteousness in the City of Peace – Jerusalem.
The Day of the LORD begins the new Messianic Age of God’s Kingdom, and the implications of that reality are astonishing.
The Kingdom Promised
“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.“[2 Samuel 7:16]
The LORD made a covenant with David — King of Israel — promising to raise up from his own household the Anointed One — the Messiah King. One of the most telling titles given to Jesus was “Son of David,” which clearly was Messianic in nature. Jesus declares to be both “the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star” [Revelation 22:16]. Jesus both precedes David as the Son of God and is a natural descendant of David as the Son of Man.
There are many Old Testament passages that convey the promise of both Divine King and Kingdom on earth.
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.”[Isaiah 9:6-7]
“As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
I will tell of the decree:[Psalm 2:6-8]
The LORD said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.”
“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven[Daniel 7:13-14]
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.“
The Kingdom of Israel first fractured and eventually fell completely at the hands of their enemies. It was during this time in exile when the Messianic hope for a future restoration of the Kingdom of Israel was pronounced. Zechariah was given one of the most vivid prophecies.
“On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.”[Zechariah 14:6-9]
The King Is Born
After years of exile, many Jews eventually returned to the land, and a second temple was built. But Israel was not truly free. The Promised Land fell to the tyrant kings of pagan empires and existed in the shadows of more powerful nations. To make matters worse, God’s prophets went silent for 400 years and there was a spiritual famine in the land.
It was as if the LORD was wanting to make a statement. He took a deep breath for 400 years, only to make the loudest proclamation the world has ever heard.
“The King is Born!”
“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'”[Luke 2:9-11]
But what kind of King were the Jews expecting? Many were looking for the Warrior King to come and lead them in victory over Rome. Few were looking for the Sacrificial Son and Suffering Servant who was born to die so that men could live forever in victory over sin and death.
Jesus was no less a King for being born among the lowly. Jesus was no less a King for walking among the sick and poor. He is no less a King for being willing to surrender to His Father’s will and go to the cross.
He is the King of kings! And the LORD of lords!
Although Jesus didn’t initially establish His Kingdom on earth, He came to do a greater work. Through His substitutionary death, burial, resurrection and ascension, Jesus assumed the throne as the Supreme King of the Universe — the King of both heaven and earth.
He came to make sinners into the sons of God. He came to crush the head of the serpent and triumph over the powers of darkness. He came to redeem for Himself a people for His own possession from every tongue, tribe and nation. A Kingdom of Priests. A Holy Nation.
And He came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God and the coming Day of the LORD. The Kingdom is already here … but not yet.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”[Mark 1:14-15]
Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, he answered them, “The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.”[Luke 17:20-21]
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”[John 18:36]
Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”[Matthew 19:28]
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'”[Matthew 25:31-34]
Even Jesus’ own disciples couldn’t fully grasp the implications of the Great Commission and eternal scope of the Kingdom. Surely they couldn’t have predicted that the LORD would tarry for nearly 2000 years.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.“[Acts 1:6-9]
Next time I will discuss the significance of the present reign of Christ in heaven and the future return of Christ to earth.