In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:"The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.'" (NKJV)
What is the Postponement Kingdom?
According to Dr. Clarence Larkin, “it’s believed that the Kingdom of Heaven is being delayed in its physical form of coming because of the Jews rejection of Jesus Christ while he was here physically on this earth”. The “Kingdom of Heaven” is the physical, visible kingdom that Jesus Christ will occupy according to Daniel 7:13-14. When He comes back through the clouds in His Second Coming.
What is the true "Status" of the Kingdom in this Present Age?
According to Biblical history, the Kingdom of Heaven was offered to Israel when Jesus preached the “Sermon on the Mount”. To say the Kingdom of Heaven has being postponed, is misleading. In reality, it is not or ever was postponed from God’s perspective. The reason there is no postponement or delay is God factored in all life’s events that seeming would bring a change of direction. God being omniscient has foreknowledge of everything from eternity’s past, the present, as well as the future.. In addition, God operates from "eternity to eternity" factoring in the events of time moment by moment thus, there are never any changes in God’s central purpose.” Postponement" in truth only applies from how God’s actions are seen from human perspective and the decisions men make, yet no postponement has the power to precipitate a change in God’s plans or purpose.
The Kingdom of heaven was first offered by Jesus also when he offered himself as their "Messiah and King"..God in his infinite wisdom and superior knowledge (omniscience) foreknew that Jesus would be rejected by the Jews. John F. Walvoord writes: “It must be understood that what is postponed from a human standpoint is not postponed from a divine standpoint. With God, all contingencies and changes are already known and from God’s point of view are taken into account from eternity past. No matter the current event of apparent change, there is no change in God’s central purpose”.
According to Daniel 7:13-14, God’s Word taught there is to be a "physical kingdom" on earth in which Jesus Christ would have a throne and rule over with King David, His “co-regent”. In Daniel 2:34-35, Daniel, revealed this revelation to King Nebuchadnezzar while interpreting the king’s dream. Daniel said: “While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were broken to pieces at the same time and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind blew and swept the image away without leaving a trace, but the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth”. At the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, there was a widespread expectation of the coming of a “Messiah”.
Wise men (Magi) came from the east into Jerusalem looking for the ”King of the Jews” asking where could he be found. Telling Herod, King of Israel they were led to Jerusalem to worship the child of whom the star represented. Finding Jesus in the manger, they brought gifts fit for a king, and then worshiped him as king. Jesus in Matthew Chapters 5 through 7 laid out the "foundation on the ethical principles of the kingdom". By performing hundreds of miracles, Jesus in the power of God showed the Kingdom of Heaven was already at hand but God's Spirit was physically present with Israel, and announcing their Messiah and deliverer Jesus had come.
When did Postponement Occur?
Dr. John Walvoord contended that “postponement” occurred the moment Jesus Christ was rejected by his own people and His subsequent death on the cross, and resurrection. Because of their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah, this, according to Dr. Walvoord delayed the kingdom from occurring on earth immediately and delayed its coming until after the 7-year Tribulation Period when Christ in the “Revelation stage’ sets up a literal and physical kingdom and reign as King for 1,000 years."
Jesus revealed the "King’s platform" of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew Chapters 1 through 10. Then, we are introduced to His kingdom principles from Chapters 5 through 7. Next, we are privy to see His divine power displayed as he began to perform miracle after miracle in Chapters 8 through 10. Unfortunately, the “King” found himself rejected and in constant conflict with the religious leaders, particularly the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Scribes. His rejection unfolds in Chapter 11 as the Pharisees and Scribes also rebels against John the Baptist.
Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe writes: “The common people held John in high regard and many of them repented and had been baptized by john. But the religious leaders refused to honor John, and this proved their unbelief and hardness of heart.”Wiersbe describes their behavior this way: “Instead of being childlike and humbling themselves, these leaders were childish and stubborn, like children pouting because they couldn’t have their way.”
Why did Postponement of the Kingdom occur?
Why was the Kingdom was postponed? First, as part of prophetic fulfillment. For the kingdom to be manifested, it required repentance on the part of Israel. Matthew 4:17 declared: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!“ Israel currently is unrepentant. As a nation, Israel still believes that their Messiah is yet to come, but at the end of the Great Tribulation period when Israel is about to be defeated, Jesus will come through the clouds with the armies of heaven and subdues all of Israel’s enemies, including the false prophet and the Antichrist saving Israel then set up the promised Kingdom Israel then will as a nation realize that Jesus whom they crucified was the very Messiah they were looking for.
Second, in their rejection of Jesus, the Pharisees attributed all the miracles Jesus did as the work of Belzebub (Satan). This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, a sin that can never be forgiven, either in this life, or the one to come. Jesus said he did all the work God the Father sent him to do and in truth, God (the Holy Spirit) (the power) was doing the work through Him. This rejection caused Israel to be “set aside” by God for the time being.
Third, God (Jehovah) foreknew Israel would refuse to believe Jesus was God, This rejection was prophetically necessary so the church could be manifested in this dispensation. The kingdom was promised contingent upon the Jews reception to Jesus, their true King. When they rejected Jesus and crucified him they lost their opportunity and the kingdom was taken from them. Dr. Clarence Larkin states: “Certain Old Testament prophecies as to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection had to take place, He had to die for the redemption of the human race, before he could assume His office as King”. We can’t forget what John the Apostle wrote in Revelation 13:8: that Jesus is “the lamb” that was slain before the foundation of the world.
Fourth, God foreknew by the natural progression of human society that man (the Jews) would reject Jesus. In his book entitled “Matthew,” Dr. H.A. Ironside said: "The setting aside of Israel paved the way for a “new order of things” God had foreseen from eternity, yet had not declared, part of the new order of things involved the formation of a new body called the church that would be made up of ‘baptized’ believers in Jesus “Christ and composed of both “called out” Jews and Gentiles. “It is from this point in the Gospel of Matthew” Dr. Ironside further states “The term “kingdom of heaven” ceases to refer to the final establishment of the Kingdom of God over all the earth, but rather to the “mysterious” and mystical form in which the kingdom was to be manifested after the King (Jesus) returned to heaven until the Second Advent. It’s at His second coming that He would return in great power and glory to root out all offences and destroy all works of iniquity, and to set up the very kingdom he offered to the Jews at His first Advent.”
What are some of the consequences Israel faced because of the Postponement?
From the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and the Jews infamous cry before Pilate “His blood be upon us and on our children”, the judgment of shedding Christ’s innocent blood came to past as the Jews nationally have since suffered from the crucifixion of Christ. All throughout modern history Israel has suffered massive loss of life at the hand of some of the most cruelest leaders.
Dr. Clarence Larkin in his book Dispensational Truth laid out a time line of Israel’s persecutions that spanning at least 18 centuries.
1. In 70 A.D., Rome destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in a siege led by Titus, leader of the Roman army with 100,000 troops. The siege which lasted 4 months caused a famine so severe, wives snatched food from their husbands and babies. Making matters worse, many mothers succumbed to the pangs of famine and killed their children boiling and eating them for food. Many Jews were crucified outside the city walls, others fled from the onslaught.
2. In 1020 in the event known as the “Frown of England, Canute banished all Jews from England. In 1068, Jews living in England were given only one burial place, located in Cripplegate, London, England.
3. In 1306, in France, a fast commemorating the Destruction of Jerusalem saw 100,000 Jews living in France stripped of all wealth and possessions, then exiled In the tragedy of The "Plague of the Black Death" that swept over Europe from 1348-1350 claiming the lives of over 1/4th of the European population, the Jews were blamed for its cause, only because it had minimal affect on them in its spread. they were arrested and convicted of poisoning the wells and springs. For their sentence, they were torture, placed in caldrons and boiled, and set fire alive..
From a Dispensation perspective, Biblical prophesy’s clock On Daniel's "70 week" prophecy currently has stopped between the 69th and 70th week. This time stoppage allows the "Kingdom in Mystery" to manifest itself through the formation of the church. The church will; remain active on earth until God gathers the number of church converts for His Name made up of the Jews and Gentiles races. remember Jesus pronounced “woes” upon Chorazin, Bethsaida, Tyre and Sidon, as well as Capernaum. These two cities (Tyre and Sidon) along with Capernaum were eventually destroyed by the Romans. Jesus since being rejected continue to offer individuals to become His disciples to this day. (Matthew 11:28)
In the near future Israel will go the “time of “Jacob’s trouble” known as the” Great Tribulation Period”. This event is to begin immediately after the “rapture” (the first stage of Jesus’ second coming) of the church, when saved members of the church” both the dead and living are “caught up to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)
Finally In the book “Jerusalem in Prophecy”, Dr. J Randall Price reveals 5 purposes for the Great Tribulation and how Israel as a nation will be affected:
1. Because of their rejection of Jesus, The tribulation period serves as punishment and Israel’s judicial hardening”, because of the partial return from Persia. (everybody did not come back during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah) These factors combined resulted in the ‘national rejection of Jesus Christ by the Jews as the chosen people (not those who did receive Him) (Isaiah 6:9-13; 24:1-6; John 12: 37-41; Romans 11:7-10)
2. The “Time of Jacob’s trouble will cause a revival among the Jewish people still scattered throughout the world (Deuteronomy 4: 27-30; Revelation 7:1-4) resulting in a massive return the Land of Israel (Ezekiel 36:24; 37:21; Zechariah 8:7-8) as the nation prepares for a day of “national repentance” for rejecting Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
3. When double-crossed by the Antichrist who break the 7- year peace treaty they will be convinced that they need a Messiah in order to produce repentance on a national level and regenerate of the nation toward Jesus Christ. (Daniel 12:5-7; Isaiah 59:20-21; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 20:34-38; 36:25-27; 37:1-14; Zechariah 12:9-13:2)
4. After the 7-year Tribulation Period, God immediately will pronounce judgment upon the Gentile nations (sheep nations and goat” nations) based on how they treat Israel during this time of persecution. The tribulation will also bring about the deliverance of the Jews from Gentile domination when Jesus comes back to set up the Millennial kingdom, thus becoming Israel’s Messiah as Universal King. (Isaiah 24:21-23; 59:16-20; Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27)
5. The Tribulation period purges the earth of wicked people preparintg the world for the coming Messianic kingdom which will be characterized by God’s righteousness. (Isaiah 11:9; 13:9; 24:19-20; Ezekiel 37:23; Zechariah 13:2; 14:9). This violent reduction of the world’s unbelieving population will be the result of divine judgments, that will be unleashed throughout the Tribulation period (Revelation chapters 6-18), climaxing at the Battle of Armageddon led from heaven by Jesus Christ, the Messiah and King (Revelation chapter 19) purging the world of both rebellious Jews and Gentiles at the end of the Tribulation