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What’s In ‘The Name’? Part 3; Messiah the Prince

“Why is it that every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, rather than confessing that Jesus is King?”

This is the question that we will attempt to answer in this article. Specifically, how does the answer to this question impact my life and standing as a Christian?

In thinking about this question, I was reminded of about a friend of mine that I used to work for. At first, this story may seem a little unrelated to our subject, but I will try and tie it in for you at the end:

John and Paula had been dating each other for several years and they appeared to love each other so that their marriage seemed inevitable. John was waiting to get himself into a position with his work to really be able to provide for Paula in the way that he thought that she would need for them to live together happily.

Paula on the other hand was very impatient. She desperately wanted to settle down and have children but John was taking so long getting his act together…

Her impatience began to show as they started to fight with each other more and more. John tried different business ventures only to fail and end up in a worse financial position than previously.

Finally, John took a job working for Paula’s father who owned and operated a fencing business. The intention was to learn the business and take it over when her father retired. Things seemed to stabilize a bit for them but to her, John was just settling for this job that had little future when she knew that he was capable of so much more.

Besides that, since her mother died, she and her father were not getting along very well. She wanted to get away and move to California. John had no desire to pull up his roots and move to an even more unsettling future.

John finally asked Paula to marry him but for some reason, she panicked and decided to move to California on her own. John was devastated and even took several trips to California in an effort to bring her back. She only grew more hardened and bitter toward him. The last time John visited her, she had moved in with another man.

Even though John gave her the appearance that he had moved on (he stopped contacting Paula), John never gave up on her. He knew against all advice, including Paula’s father, that their marriage was inevitable but was merely postponed…

Paula’s father finally retired and John did take over the business. John and Paula communicated a little bit about the business, but not much else.

Some time later, Paula grew weary of the man that she was living with. She was disillusioned with their lifestyle and the shallowness of the crowd that they were hanging out with.

In the end, John’s persistence paid off. She began to contact John more and more but he remained very cold and aloof to her. Although he had turned away from Paula in his mind and manners in order to protect himself, his heart was always longing to restore their relationship.

Finally, she convinced him of her sincerity to get back together with him and after many years she returned to him and finally they were married. As to living happily ever after…I don’t really know. I lost touch with them after that. So we will have to leave our little story here.

The point of relating the history of this relationship is this: It isn’t an easy thing to turn away from someone that you love. Even when they have rejected your promise to love them and to help them in some pretty significant ways.

This illustration is pretty close to what has happened between the nation of Israel and her God. The promise that God made to Abraham of land, seed and blessing is unconditional and can never be revoked. However the Kingdom that was offered to Israel at the Lord’s first coming was rejected and has now been postponed.

In Matthew’s gospel, ch. 12, we see this rejection solidified in the events recorded there…

“And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard [it], they said, This [fellow] doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.”

Matthew 12:23-24 KJV

Prior to their accusation, the Lord Jesus confronted them about their alliance with evil. Jesus had just just healed multitudes of people. Presumably these were both Jews and Gentile because Matthew gives a summary of these healings when he wrote:

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment (justice) to the Gentiles.

Matthew 12:17-18 KJV

Then Jesus healed a man possessed with a devil that had kept him both blind and dumb (unable to speak). The people that witnessed Jesus heal him so that the man now both could see and speak, declared, “Is not this the Son of David?” (v. 23)

In other words, they recognized that Jesus must be Messiah, but the Jewish leaders would have none of it…They accused Jesus of casting out devils by the prince of the devils. That is, they attributed the work of the Spirit of God to the works of Satan.

This was the sin that sealed their fate. Their rejection of Jesus as their King insured that the Kingdom is now postponed but not cancelled (Luke 13:35; Matthew 23:38). For now, not only is the kingdom postponed (not cancelled), but the promise of a new covenant is extended to include Gentiles.

A Crown Prince but not a King

To this day, the nation of Israel does not accept that Jesus Christ is her King. In fact, when Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time, (Matthew 21) it was in fulfillment of what the prophet Daniel spoke hundreds of years before:

“Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.”

Daniel 9:25 KJV

According to Daniel, Messiah was to appear as ‘The Prince’. The Spirit of God was foretelling that Israel would not accept Messiah as King, so He remains an heir to the throne. The establishment of Israel’s Kingdom is not conditional upon the nation of Israel adhering to the Mosaic covenant. They had already failed that. Instead the coming Kingdom is dependent upon Israel receiving the Lord Jesus as King.

They did not, so Jesus Christ remains the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) but not yet the King of Peace (Hebrews 7:1,2; 7:21,22) . He is yet to be received by the nation’s leaders as their King. This, in spite of the fact that His resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven prove that He is Lord.

So, we now confess Him as Lord and we recognize Him as King even though He is yet to be received as “King of kings and Lord of lords” reigning from the throne of David in Jerusalem.

As believers, we recognize His right to rule but also that presently He is rejected by Israel and this world as King. So, it is important for us to realize that the Kingdom is not now but yet future. The Kingdom as described by the prophets cannot come until the conversion of Israel after a period of intense tribulation,

“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Matthew 24:21 KJV

Nevertheless, He presently reigns as Lord (as owner) over all of creation and sovereignly directs the affairs of this world to ultimately conform the nations to His will;

“The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turns it whithersoever he will.”

Proverbs 21:1 KJV

However, when He reigns as King of kings, it will be a far different character than our present Day of Grace. More on that later. The church has not replaced Israel but is a unique body of both Jew and Gentile designed to serve as a co-regent with Christ.

We are instructed to pray to Him as Lord in this present age for His coronation in the age to come: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. So, if we are instructed to pray for the kingdom to come, it seems obvious that the kingdom is not here yet. So, we recognize Him as the King who is to come but for now we confess Him as Lord of all creation.

Dear Reader, just as God will fulfill His promise to Israel for land, seed and blessing, so God’s promise of eternal life to all who trust in Jesus is certain (John 10:28). Even if you have rejected His merciful and loving offer for years, He will receive you today.

This invitation to come will soon expire. Once the Wedding of the Lamb to His church has come, the opportunity for you to be reconciled to God will be over. Then “he that is unjust let him be unjust still…” (Revelation 22:11)

But if He is not King now, why are believers called children of the kingdom in Matthew 13:38? I’m glad you asked… Next, we will be taking a look at what the coming kingdom looks like.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I have included Blue Letter Bible links to the scriptures cited. When you click on them, it will open a new window to that reference.

If this post was helpful to you, I would appreciate it if you could post a short comment below. This is very helpful toward getting this blog seen by more people. Likewise, if you believe that this blog post would be helpful to someone you know, please copy and share the url link with them…

Thank you and may the Lord richly bless you today.

smc

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