Message NotesThe Fullness of the Time – Part 2 Page 1
Word of the Kingdom Conference
February 14th – 16th 2014
The Fullness of the Time
1). Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those who were under law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
a). We had seen in our first study that the fullness of the time refers to a precise moment in human history that had been predetermined by God and the timing of which was announced through the prophet Daniel –
Da 9:25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
b). And here in Daniel we see events surrounding Messiah the Prince that take us beyond the moment when the fullness of time came, beyond the years of His first advent to events that remain future even today and anticipate the fulfillment of the promise to Abraham in Christ. Even here then we see that the coming of Messiah the Prince is presented within the overall framework of the coming 7th Day and not presented as an end in itself.
c). And then from our verses in Galatians we see the clear connection between the sending forth of God’s Son and our own adoption, literally ‘son placing’ as a firstborn son with regards to the 7th Day – the very focus we have just noted in Daniel.
d). And so we must conclude from this that the events surrounding the Lord’s first advent were all with a view to His second advent – God sending forth His Son, when the fullness of the time had come was an overwhelmingly significant marker on God’s prophetic calendar, declaring for those with eyes to see, the certainty and the closeness of the complete fulfillment of God’s plans and purposes for His Son with respect to the heavens and the earth as set forth in the opening verses of Genesis.
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e). All too often the events of Christ’s first advent are presented as an end in themselves when in effect, if we can say it this way, they are the precursor to the main event.
2). With is in mind let’s look at the pronouncement that Gabriel makes to Mary recorded in - Lu 1:26 ¶ Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, "Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!" 29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 "And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." 34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" 35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 "Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 "For with God nothing will be impossible." 38 Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.
a). Mary would not be unfamiliar with the OT scriptures, and it is to these very scriptures that Gabriel draws attention – we might particularly note that glorious promise that had been made to David the king by God through the prophet Nathan - 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.
And the commentary given on this in - Jer 33:20 "Thus says the LORD: 'If you can break My covenant with the day and My covenant with the night, so that there will not be day and night in their season, 21 'then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, My ministers.
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b). And then to confirm the veracity of God’s word Gabriel gives witness to the power of God in the life of Mary’s relative, Elizabeth, ‘who was called barren’.
c). No doubt Mary would recall the words of the prophet Isaiah –
Isa 7:14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
d). And intriguingly we see here that the virgin birth is given to Israel as a sign – pointing then beyond the birth itself to an event that would come yet future from another barren womb, that of barren Israel, as we see recorded in Re 12:1 ¶ Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. 2 Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth.
e). And Mary’s response to Gabriel, ‘Let it be to me according to your word’ is a magnificent example of faith in action – Mary’s faith is not just in that which the angel has just said to her in real time, if you will, but in that which God had said in His word from past time concerning those things which would come to pass in future time – in one sense we can see Mary’s faith here after the same fashion as that of Abraham, who waited for a city whose builder and maker was God.
f). But the one thing we cannot mistake in this encounter is that the angel’s pronouncement has to do with the regality of Christ and the eternal nature of His Kingdom – and within the whole context of scripture this would be referencing something that even today is still future.
g). So then, at the pronouncement of the Lord’s conception, God’s focus is the future Messianic Kingdom – it is for that day, the day of His Kingdom, that He was begotten.
h). And because of the foundation of the 7 days laid out for us in Genesis we would know that Christ’s first advent was preparation for that Day it would not be the Day itself - Lu 24:25 Then He said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 "Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?"
i). Again witness Mary’s words when she visits Elizabeth following the Holy Spirit’s overshadowing - Lu 1:46 And Mary said: "My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud
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in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever."
j). Her utterance here is both of praise and prophecy – and its focus is that future Day when Gentile world power will be overthrown and God will fulfill His promise to Abraham and his seed, both in the heavens and on the earth through the Seed conceived in her barren womb.
3). We can see this same truth prophetically presented in - Isa 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
a). Again here we see regality with respect to the throne of David referencing the covenant made with David to that end – a Kingdom administered in righteousness and justice, a Kingdom that will be an everlasting Kingdom, with the government of that Kingdom on the shoulder of the Son.
b). We see the deliverance and restoration of Israel and the peace that will come to Jerusalem in that Day.
c). And the description given of Jesus here in Isaiah Chapter 9 is not the description given of Him in Isaiah Chapter 53 – Isa 53:2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
We are clearly dealing with 2 different times here with that seen in Chapter 53 proceeding that seen in Chapter 9.
d). And as we had seen in our previous study the Lord made it abundantly clear at the end of His earthly ministry that the setting up of the prophesied Kingdom, when that prophesied in Isaiah Chapter 9 would be fulfilled, was not for that time – Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not
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of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here."
e). His Kingdom will not be established in this age, it must wait for the age to come – an age that awaits the Lord’s Second Advent – the coming age to which all scripture moves, glimpsed by 3 of His disciples on the mount of transfiguration - Mt 17:1 ¶ Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead."
f). Even the declaration of the location of the Lord’s birth has its focus on a future regality and the future redemption for Israel - Mic 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting." 3 Therefore He shall give them up, Until the time that she who is in labor has given birth; Then the remnant of His brethren Shall return to the children of Israel. 4 And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth;
g). Bethlehem is the place of our Lord’s birth, but it is not the physical place or the birth itself that are the focus in our scripture, but rather it is the re-gathering of Israel from the nations – that future Day that the coming of the fullness of the time makes possible through the One who is from everlasting, the Seed of Abraham, born within its walls.
h). Our scripture’s focus is not the birth of Christ per se, but rather the birth of the 144 thousand Jewish evangelists depicted in Revelation Chapter 12 to which the virgin birth through Mary was to be a sign.
i). It is that Day when the mountain of the Lord’s House will fill the earth.
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j). In fact the direct connection between Bethlehem and David the king that we see in – Lu 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
Must inevitably take us back to 2 Samuel 7 and the future Kingdom of the greater Son of David as God had promised - The reference to Bethlehem then has more to do with lineage and covenant, pointing to the future, than with location.
4). Then following the Lord’s birth there is an encounter that takes place in the Temple on the day of the Lord’s circumcision - Lu 2:25 ¶ And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, 28 he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: 29 "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation 31 Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, 32 A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel." 33 And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising [again] of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 "(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."
a). This is so much more than just a confirmation of the Lord’s deity, it is a prophetic pronouncement not only of the promised salvation of Israel that will result in their glory, but also of the light that would be brought to the Gentiles, anticipating the formation of the Church, inevitably looking to the Day when both these entities will have the position of a firstborn son.
b). V34 is particularly interesting – It was exactly because of Christ that Israel fell to the lowest point in their history of unbelief at his crucifixion –
Joh 19:15 But they cried out, "Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!" Pilate said to them, "Shall I crucify your King?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but Caesar!"
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and it will be because of Christ that Israel will rise again to walk in the fullness of God’s plans for them at the head of the nations during the Millennial Kingdom at His second advent.
c). And according to God’s own commentary, Christ is given for a sign – a sign that must include His birth, His ministry, His death and His resurrection – a sign which would be spoken against - An obvious reality, particularly with regards to Israel, even to this day – A sign that is pointing to a future day.
d). And v35 is not just a reference to the pain Mary would experience at Christ’s crucifixion, but must also be seen with respect to other related scripture concerning the salvation of the soul.
e). This verse, in the way it is written, draws us to - Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
f). Remember Mary was in the upper room on the Pentecost following the Lord’s resurrection waiting for the promised Holy Spirit – Who would begin His search for the Bride.
5). And then there is Anna - Lu 2:36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
a). Please notice that in Simeon and Anna we see a single minded devotion. Simeon waiting for the Consolation of Israel that he could depart this world ‘in peace’. And Anna, after the death of her husband, choosing not to marry again but rather to serve God day and night ‘with fastings and prayers’ as she looked for ‘redemption in Jerusalem’. Something it appears that others were looking for also. In these two we can see a picture of the heart and mind of the watching and waiting Christian of today.
b). But note that neither of them saw the fulfillment of that which they waited for. They saw the baby Jesus only – yet in this fact alone was the absolute assurance of that which God had promised concerning the Consolation of Israel and redemption in Jerusalem yet future and it is this end result that is their focus – there is no suggestion that what they waited for was to be fulfilled in their present, but that the birth of Christ made it certain.
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c). It seems that for Simeon and Anna the Lord’s birth was confirmation of the surety of His future Kingdom. Their focus was not their present circumstance, or indeed the birth of the child per se but the certainty of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham and His covenant with David through the embodiment of that promise in infant form in their midst that day.
6). Simeon and Anna offer a sharp contrast to Herod whose focus, on learning of the birth of Christ, remained entirely in his present. For Herod the birth came like a thief in the night and he wanted to hang on to his own position of rulership in the present world system under Satan - Mt 2:1 ¶ Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
a). Mt 2:16 ¶ Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more."
b). Herod did have knowledge of the scriptures, but despite this his focus was not on God’s promises for the future, but self-preservation in the present.
c). As a result of his actions we can see him as a type of Satan seeking to destroy the Seed of the Woman and a type of the Anti-Christ seeking to destroy the nation of Israel – we can see him as a personification of the actions of the man of the flesh resulting in death and destruction in complete antithesis to the purpose of God - And as such he would serve as a warning for us both in our present and with a view to our future.
7). From all of this we can see that God sending forth His Son when the fullness of the time had come marks the beginning of the final movement in the symphony of the plans of God that are even now moving to the crescendo of the coming Kingdom.
a). There is another precise moment in human history when God will send forth His Son a second time, but not born of a woman and not under law,
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when everything set in motion at His first advent will be brought to completion and the promise to Abraham of which He is the embodiment will finally be fulfilled - Heb 1:6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: "Let all the angels of God worship Him."
b). And as we wait for this moment in time it is interesting to note that the spiritual condition of the ‘Church’ immediately prior to the manifestation of this moment is exactly the same as the spiritual condition of Israel immediately prior to the coming of the fullness of the time.
c). And interesting to note that just as Israel had a precise timeframe for the Lord’s first advent – 483 years from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, so we have a precise timeframe for the Lord’s second advent – 2 days, 2000 years from His first advent.
d). And just as Israel had the precise timeframe but not the exact day or hour so we have the precise timeframe but no exact day nor hour either and this is not surprising as we would not expect the Lord’s second advent to be presented any differently than His first - Mt 24:42 "Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.
e). 1Th 5:1 ¶ But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
d). The Lord’s first advent came as a thief in the night for the majority of Israel as the priests had failed to prepare the people correctly, but this was not true for all as we witnessed in Simeon and Anna and the Lord’s second advent will come as a thief in the night for the majority of Christians alive at the time because they will not have been properly prepared either.
e). Then if we continue in our scripture from 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 we find something pertinent to this thought – 1Th 5:4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 ¶ Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
e). So what do we see here? Those Christians who won’t experience the Lord’s second coming as a thief in the night are those who are properly preparing themselves for that Day, whenever it should come – those who are not asleep but are watching and sober – those who have put on and are in the
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process of putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation – those then whose focus is on the salvation yet to be revealed, the salvation of the soul – those whose future hope directs their present action; those who will continue in patient endurance during the trials and tribulations of life, knowing that they must be prepared every moment, without ever knowing how much time they have, but having the certainty that their hope will not be disappointed - Heb 12:1 ¶ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
g). What we see here in our scriptures from Thessalonians and Hebrews, as in all the other places, is that our focus is to be the same as God’s focus – on the Kingdom which is to come – and of course on what is necessary on our part to participate in the Kingdom as a joint heir with Christ, as the seed of Abraham.
h). We must treat this neither lightly nor casually but with a resolution that cannot be shaken – not in the self-gratification of the accumulation of knowledge, but in the life changing power of God in us.
i). Ro 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 ¶ And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
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