The Messianic Kingdom Bible Study
Part 3: What is the believer's role in the Kingdom?
by I Gordon
We have spent a few messages looking at prophetic themes while we have
traversed through the book of Isaiah. Now I read a list recently of 'The
Top Ten Ways to Know If You're obsessed with Bible Prophecy'. Here is the
10. You use the Left Behind books as devotional reading
9. You get goose bumps when you hear a trumpet.
8. You believe the term "Church Fathers" refers to Hal Lindsey and Tim
7. You believe there is an original Greek and Hebrew text with Scofield's
6. You can name more signs of the times than Commandments.
5. You refuse a tax refund check because the amount comes to $666.
4. Barcode scanners make you nervous.
3. You talk your church into adapting the '60s pop song, "Up, Up, and Away"
as a Christian hymn.
2. You never buy green bananas.
1. You always leave the top down on your convertible in case the rapture
Now obviously you are not at that stage... yet! But if you keep reading
studies like this, you may be getting close!
In the Bible we read about things past and, amazingly, things still to
come. And we have been looking at a little series on what is called the
Messianic Kingdom. In the first message we looked at how the Messianic
Kingdom will come in and saw that it will come with a bang! It will come
suddenly. Last time we looked at the characteristics of the Kingdom and we
saw that this world will be a place of rejoicing and gladness, health and
well-being, peace, prosperity and the presence of God. Bring... it... on!
In this study we shall look at the next question: What is the believer's
role & relationship to this coming kingdom? In other words, 'whad'a we
Now, it should be said that it's not an easy question for the Bible doesn't
spill all the beans on this question. But it does give us a few little
nuggets to chew over. We'll start with a general description of the kingdom
age that we haven't looked at yet... then we'll look at our role in the
kingdom, and we'll finish with a parable that Jesus gave to teach how the
thought of this coming kingdom should influence our life here and now.
When the King rules and reigns
Micah 3:9-12 Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of
the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right;
(10) who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. (11) Her
leader's judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets
tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon the LORD and say, "Is not the
LORD among us? No disaster will come upon us." (12) Therefore because of
you, Zion will be ploughed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of
rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.
Here is a prophecy that says that because of the great wickedness in
Israel, especially amongst her leaders, that destruction would befall
Jerusalem. Her leaders, her priests and her prophets were corrupt. We read
the 'leader judge for a bribe', 'the priest teach for a price' and 'the
prophets tells fortunes for money.' They were all in it for the dollars. So
it says specifically that 'Zion would be ploughed up and Jerusalem as a
whole would be a heap of rubble; the temple hill overgrown.' Now that is a
very interesting prophecy. It's ultimate fulfilment? 70AD... and it was
fulfilled quite literally!
There are some in the church who think that with the destruction of
Jerusalem in 70 AD, God showed He was forever rejecting Israel as His
people and Jerusalem as His city. Well, the prophets certainly foresaw the
coming destruction of Jerusalem hundreds of years before it took place; but
they didn't stop there. Look at what else they saw right in the next verses
that followed - A time when the king of kings shall reign from Jerusalem
and it shall be the focus of the world's attention!
Micah 4:1-4 and it will come about in the last days that the mountain of
the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains. It
will be raised above the hills, and the peoples will stream to it. (2) Many
nations will come and say, "Come and let us go up to the mountain the LORD
and to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us about His ways,
that we may walk in His paths." For from Zion will go forth the law, even
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. (3) And He will judge between many
peoples and render decisions for mighty, distant nations. Then they will
hammer their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks;
Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they
train for war. (4) Each of them will sit under his vine and under his fig
tree, with no one to make them afraid, for the mouth of the LORD of hosts
So here is a prophecy that has not yet come to pass. The reason it hasn't
come to pass is because, as it says in the first verse, it is something
that will come to pass in 'the last days'. It is a prophecy concerning the
Messianic Kingdom when Jesus rules and reigns from Jerusalem. It is
repeated almost exactly in Isaiah as well so it must be important. Let's
quickly look at the verses:
Verse 1: Jerusalem shall be raised up:
Zechariah spoke about this as well in chapter 14 to show what would happen
to the city after the return of the Lord. Judah shall be a vast fertile
plain and the city of Jerusalem shall be lifted up. One commentator
described it as a wedding ring with Jerusalem in the future to be the
diamond that is raised up.
Verse 2: The people and the nations shall stream to Jerusalem to see
: After giving a previous message on the kingdom I was asked that 'if Jesus
lived in Israel, wouldn't everyone want to live there as well?' That is a
fair enough question. Well there will still be 'the nations' but yes, they
will stream into Jerusalem to see and listen to Him and hear His word and
law so they can walk in His ways. You may remember in the days of King
Solomon, who built the first temple and whose reign was one of peace, that
they came from other nations to hear his wisdom and to see the glory of
Jerusalem. This was a type of what it will be like in the future reign of
Verse 3&4: Peace amongst the nations and mankind:
This week we had the United Nations meeting in their headquarters in New
York. We got to hear Iran's President Ahmadinejad say lovely kind things
about Israel again like they have no roots in the Middle East and will soon
be eliminated. The interesting thing is that this scripture 'they shall
hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks' is
engraved on the outside wall of the United Nations building. Of course they
leave out the first part of the verse out because they don't care for Jesus
the Messiah, nor His judging of the nations from Jerusalem. No, they think
they can bring peace without the Prince of Peace.
But one day, in the Messianic Kingdom, this will be fulfilled. Nation shall
not lift up sword again nation anymore. They won't even learn war. It will
be the first time since the fall of man that man will live in true peace.
Each one will live in peace the scripture says, with no one to make them
Now we said at the start that we would look at what the believers role in
this kingdom will be did we not? And 'we' haven't done that now have we? To
be fair, there isn't a lot of detail about our role in that time. But there
is some information without completely letting the cat out of the bag.
Jesus will rule and reign from Jerusalem in fulfilment of many prophetic
scriptures... that is clear. But He is a giving God and shall give of His
authority to His followers as well. Let's look at some of these:
Quick Scriptures on the Believer's role in the Messianic Kingdom
Matthew 19:27-30 Then Peter said to Him, "Behold, we have left everything
and followed You; what then will there be for us?" (28) And Jesus said to
them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the
regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also
shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (29)
"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or
mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as
much, and will inherit eternal life. (30) "But many who are first will be
last; and the last, first.
Jesus told the disciples that they would rule and reign over the twelve
tribes of Israel. But the promise of reward is also given to all those that
have sacrificed something for the sake of Christ. Paul would also bring up
this thought of reigning with Christ when he wrote to Timothy: "If we endure we shall also reign with Him" (11 Tim. 2:12). John,
quoting Jesus in the book of Revelation, also gave us more detail on this:
Revelation 2:25-27 'Nevertheless what you have, hold fast until I come.
'He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, TO HIM I
WILL GIVE AUTHORITY OVER THE NATIONS;
(27) AND HE SHALL RULE THEM WITH A ROD OF IRON, AS THE VESSELS OF THE
POTTER ARE BROKEN TO PIECES, as I also have received authority from My
Revelation 3:20-21 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears
My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him,
and he with Me. (21)
'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne
, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Paul wrote that we shall not only judge and rule this world, but we shall
also judge the angels!
1 Corinthians 6:1-3 Does any one of you, when he has a case against his
neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the
saints? (2) Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world?
If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the
smallest law courts? (3) Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more
matters of this life?
So what is the link between the 'here and now' and the 'there and
Finally I want to look at a parable that Jesus gave which teaches us about
how our actions today, influence our role in the coming age of His kingdom.
The passage is Luke 19:11-27 so let's study this parable.
Luke 19:11-27 (11) While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on
to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that
the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.
Why did Jesus tell them this parable? That is clear from the first verse -
the disciples thought the kingdom would be established straight away. Jesus
knew otherwise and wanted them to realise that there would be a time,
possibly a long time, before the kingdom would be setup. This delay would
be a period of training for the coming kingdom age and requires
faithfulness from the saints.
(12) So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom
for himself, and then return.
With all of Jesus' parables, he used people, places and actions that all
His hearers understood. Living 2000 years later we aren't always so lucky
to understand all the subtle nuances but the people of Jesus' day
understood what He was alluding to. So Jesus begins: 'A nobleman went to a
distant country to receive a kingdom for himself.' Well? What is that all
about? It was common in Jesus' day for the soon to be crowned king to
travel to another country to receive the kingdom.
They would go off to the ruling power, be granted the rights to be king
over an area, and then return. Jesus is obviously the nobleman in this
parable. He was telling them that He would soon go to His Father in Heaven,
a distant country, where in the fullness of time He would return having
been given the right to rule in His Kingdom.
(13) "And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to
them, 'Do business with this until I come back.' (14) "But his citizens
hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man
to reign over us.'
While the nobleman was gone, he still wanted His servants to be productive
and busy so He gave them all 10 minas (which was about 100 days work in
those days). And He gave them instruction to put this money to good use. In
like manner, Jesus has given His followers gifts, talents and resources
which they have been instructed to use for His glory in this period of His
absence. We see also that Jesus added that 'his citizens hated him'. In the
context of His time, this spoke of the Jews, the citizens of the kingdom,
who largely rejected and despised Jesus. This hatred continues today right
across the world. Yet He still has His servants worldwide as well who
desire to live for Him and long for the day when He returns!
Are you ready to give an account of your life to God?
(15) "When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these
slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might
know what business they had done. (16) "The first appeared, saying,
'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' (17) "And he said to him,
'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little
thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.' (18) "The second came,
saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.' (19) "And he said to him
also, 'And you are to be over five cities.'
Jesus also taught through this parable that the time came when this
nobleman returned. That is where we are in history right now... awaiting
His return. And we see that when He returned,
all of the servants had to give an account of their dealings while He
. The Apostle Paul tells us the same thing:
Rom 14:12 'So then each one of us will give an account of himself to
In this parable we read that the first man made 10 minas more. He had used
his time, opportunities and talents given to him by the king to produce
more for the king
. And what do we see? He is given authority in the kingdom over 10 cities!
This again backs up this thought that the believer's role in the coming
kingdom will be one of ruling and reigning with Jesus. Now there are a
couple of points we should note here:
The reward is in equal measure to what was done.
We see that those who made 5 extra minas while the nobleman was away
were given authority over 5 cities. In like manner, those that made 10
minas were given authority over 10 cities. This is the case when people
have the exact same gift and opportunity to exercise it. God will judge
and reward according to what we have done with what we have been given.
In real life we all have different gifts and different opportunities.
Most are not called to go to Africa to be a missionary. But some are.
But maybe you are a mother or father at home. Then be faithful in that
role and bring your kids up in the truth and ways of the Lord. Serving
is a gift. Encouragement is a gift. Helps is a gift. Speaking and
teaching is a gift. Giving generously is a gift. Evangelism is a gift.
Showing mercy is a gift. Whatever you have been given, be faithful in
making good use of it for His glory!
The reward is way out of proportion to what the man's dealings
The servants only did what was expected of them. It wasn't a large
thing. Yet the reward that they received was something large! What does
the nobleman, Jesus, say to these faithful servants? (Vs 17) '
Well done good and faith servant. Because you have been faithful in the little things...
' That which we do in this age for the Lord, when done in dependence
and obedience to Him, will earn eternal everlasting rewards. You do not
get any bigger than that!
It is way out of proportion to what we do in this life!
(20) "Another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I kept put
away in a handkerchief; (21) for I was afraid of you, because you are an
exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did
not sow.' (22) "He *said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you
worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I
did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? (23) 'Then why did you not
put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with
interest?' (24) "Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from
him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.' (25) "And they said to
him, 'Master, he has ten minas already.' (26) "I tell you that to everyone
who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what
he does have shall be taken away. (27) "But these enemies of mine, who did
not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my
This part of the parable is focused on a third servant. This person did
nothing with the minas at all. Nothing. At the very least Jesus said that
it should have been put in the bank so that interest could be gained on it.
People debate whether Jesus had a true believer in mind that had no rewards
or whether it was a professing believer who didn't love the Lord at all.
But there are a couple of things that we can say. Firstly Jesus wasn't
pleased with this servant. He had the same opportunity as the others but
did nothing with it. We see from his attitude that he had a wrong opinion
about the Lord. He disliked the master, calling him a 'hard or exacting
man'. This is not our Lord. He is amazingly gracious and kind. But this was
the impression that this man had. The first thing that should be said
concerning this is 'Beware forming wrong ideas about God'.
Wrong thoughts lead to wrong actions which do no service whatsoever to God.
The second thing that is implied in the parable is that this servant did
not really expect the king to come back. How sad this is! It led to
inactivity! And so when the Lord came back this sevant was found to have
done nothing. Even if he couldn't produce anything with the minas himself,
at the very least he could have invested the money with a place that could.
The same goes for us. If we can't go we can still invest and help people in
the front line of missions because they are using the opportunities and
resources in God's work.
Jesus will rule and reign on this earth in what will be Earth's golden age.
Utopia at last. And we will reign as well. Someone has rightfully said that
this life is 'training time for reigning time.' Too true! The glory Jesus
receives from His Father will be shared for our reward. But the degree of
our rewards does depend on faithfulness, even in small things, in this life
as we await his return. The warning of this parable is to use our gifts and
opportunities wisely and faithfully. Don't get bitter or form a wrong
impression of God like the one servant did in this parable... that only
lead to an uncaring inaction and eternal loss.
But to God's true servants, we saw that their rewards are completely out of
proportion to what their dealings warranted. This is 'training time for
reigning time'. We should be people that long to hear 'well done good and
faithful servant' from the Master on that day!
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10.)