Report from John Hepp, Jr., January 2012
“The Four Gospels: The Kingdom Offered & Postponed.” That is the name of a writing (71 pp.) I just finished and got posted on my website. Please look at it and give me feedback! It shows the crucial Gospel teaching about the kingdom of God that drew near at Messiah’s first coming. Here I will list the sections of my study, then quote three excerpts from the Synopsis:
- Synopsis (2 pp.), a bird’s eye view of Gospel teachings about the kingdom.
- “Important Considerations,” which include reasons it is so important to understand the kingdom, also a biblical definition of it.
- Studies of the kingdom in each Gospel, including comments on many passages.
- Conclusions (7 pp.) by categories.
- Appendixes on Acts 2, Acts 10, and Psalm 110.
The kingdom that drew near was God’s long-suspended kingdom over Israel. No one had to define it because they all knew how the prophets had described it. Israel would be restored, liberated, and made the head of the nations. The ruler would be King David’s descendant sitting on David’s throne. The capital would be Jerusalem. The nations would live in justice and peace. Even deserts would blossom and the curse be forgotten. Everybody agrees that this was how Israel understood the re-offered kingdom. Even the angelic announcements and Spirit-filled speeches of Luke chapters 1 and 2 reflected their hopes. So did John the Baptist. … [But now I will skip to the parables in Matthew 13 et al.]
The kingdom being announced would not begin immediately but after an additional period of preparation. After that, the Son of Man would come to establish it, glorious as predicted. This meant that the King would come not once but twice. But why the delay? Jesus later clearly revealed some reasons. Above all, He would suffer and die, then go to heaven until His time to rule. While waiting to rule, He is building His kingdom assembly, the church (Greek ekklesia), as He promised. He does this by “baptizing” disciples in God’s Spirit. …
Why didn’t God reveal these “secrets” to His earlier prophets? Why did Jesus explain them only to disciples? There is one main answer to both questions: to give Israel an uncluttered choice.
Improved website. My son Brad is in charge of managing my website. We were getting the files into HTML and giving instant access to Scriptures cited. We have delayed that while adapting to WordPress, which facilitates better searches, drop-down menus, etc. Try them!
Next writings. Now I am getting back to studies in Romans and Revelation that were nearly ready before I switched to the Gospels. Surely they should not take much longer. Watch for this flag on the HOME page: NEW, FOR REVIEW. Any comments at all (especially negative) will be welcome!
Yours for His glory,
John Hepp, Jr.