Christian Monotheist PPC

The Forgotten Gospel (Restoration Fellowship)

Christian Monotheist

One God, the Father & Gospel about the Coming Kingdom

Christian Monotheist

The Christian Good News



Christian Monotheist

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God



Christian Monotheist

Surprised by Hope – NT Wright

Christian Monotheist

One God, the Father & Gospel about the Coming Kingdom

Watch “One God, the Father & Gospel about the Coming Kingdom” …

Christian Monotheist

Platonic Christianity – Rejecting the Kingdom of God as “Crude” – Sean Finnegan

Platonic Christianity –
Rejecting the Kingdom of God as “Crude”

Sean Finnegan

Pastor Sean Finnegan of New York addresses the matter of Platonic influences on post-Biblical Christianity. Sean particularly talks about the Christian Platonist’s idea that the Biblical concept of God’s Kingdom on earth was “crude”. For more teaching by Sean Finnegan go to 21st Century Reformation

Christian Monotheist

Anthony Buzzard proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom of God

Christian Monotheist

Have you Got the Plot? by Mark Vincent

The film director Stephen Spielberg is alleged to have said that to make a really good movie a director needs a plot he can hold in the palm of his hand. One of his most famous films, E.T. – short for “Extra Terrestrial” – is a classic example of just that: a boy meets and befriends an alien and helps him find his way home. It’s a simple idea but one that has proved to be very appealing to the film-going public.

The Bible’s Plot-Line

When we think about the plot of the Bible we are not thinking about a film or a work of fiction, but about reality. The Bible claims to be the Word of God, His unique revelation and message to mankind. Yet much of the Bible consists of narrative – an account of both past and future with quite a definite ‘story-line’ running through it. It’s not a fictional story, however, but the history of some people who were involved in His purpose given from God’s perspective. And in the process of explaining what happened to them, and what they were told, we come to understand God’s plans for the shaping of the future.

Because the Bible is such a big book and contains many parts, written in quite diverse styles, it can be easy for both beginners and experts to miss the shape of the whole. Readers of the Bible, both new and old, can easily miss the fact that the plot of the Bible and the message it contains is essentially a very simple one.

So what happens in the Bible, and what is still to happen, according to its predictions? What is the Bible about? And can its plot be held in the palm of one’s hand?

What’s it all about?

The Bible is about God and mankind, and about their relationship. God made man and woman and has always been in charge of everything that happens. Yet he gave Adam and Eve free will to choose what they would do -whether to live in harmony and obedience to God, or to choose their own direction in life. Unfortunately, they chose to go their own way, thinking they knew better than did their Maker. Because of this mankind gradually descended into a spiral of moral decadence and selfishness that the Bible calls ‘sin’.

The consequence of such choices is still very much in evidence in the world today. Sin lies at the root of all the problems of society at large and individual men and women face in the world today – including pain and ultimately death. This is the problem, the ‘bottom-line’ which humanity must face. We are left under no illusions about our nature or condition; the reality is stark.

What’s God’s Solution?

There is the possibility of a solution – a way back to God. Throughout history, God has been calling people back to him, holding his hand out, as it were, and inviting them to return. He did this to Abraham and his descendants the Jews, and much of the Bible uses their relationship to teach a wider audience what God’s invitation and expectations involves. God’s requirements are not easy in one sense – it’s hard trying to please someone else rather than oneself – yet the rewards are vast. God makes tremendous promises about the future to Abraham and his successors – promises which are available to all who hear and respond to the gospel message.

Unfortunately, by the end of the Old Testament (two thirds of the way through the Bible), God’s people Israel have by and large rejected God’s offer, just as man and woman had originally done (human nature doesn’t easily change). So in the New Testament there is a dramatic development. God sent his Son to show how much He cared and how much He wants men and women to come back to him.

Unlike everyone who had lived beforehand, the Lord Jesus lived a perfect life – a life which he ultimately gave in the greatest and most perfect sacrifice ever made. Jesus died to show what men and women are capable of as sinners (inflicting such suffering on an innocent man), and what sin deserves (death).

That very same act also showed that God’s love and capacity to forgive are even greater and more far-reaching. God is wonderfully able to overcome the evil of sin. God loves us so much that He has given us the most precious gift possible – His only Son – so that we can be forgiven and can have a hope of life. As the Bible says:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16,17).

What Next?

Because Jesus had done no sin, God raised him up to new life, never to die again. He had conquered sin and temptation. In his death and resurrection lies the hope for everyone who receives the call of the gospel to die (as it were) to their old way of selfishness, and to live to God. This is the challenge God invites us to take up. But this is not the end of the story.

In the future God will send Jesus back to the earth again to renew the world, now wracked by problems, and to establish His kingdom upon earth. Then all the wrongs of this world will be put right, and Jesus will reign for God as King.

From Bad to Good

Conceptually, most of the above is not difficult. As a plot-line (and even more so, as reality), it is brilliant because it involves the transformation of the worst story man has ever known (his own demise) into the best (his salvation). It would be easy to open out each part of the plot and to add in many others – exploring for several hours each aspect in turn. But just summed up in a few short paragraphs this glance at the Bible’s overall message has shape and meaning. The apostle Paul put the message even more succinctly when he said:

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Timothy 1:15).

Note the way in which the apostle involves himself in his own summary of the gospel message. The story of the Bible is even more poignant because, as human beings, we are each actors in the unfolding drama of history. You and I are personally caught up in the wonder and the challenge of the Bible’s tale. This is what Paul meant when he said that he was the chief of sinners. The Bible’s message is not a story at arm’s length. Each of us is involved and caught up in God’s plan for the world.

Can we grasp it?

Let’s return finally to the question of whether one can hold the plot of the Bible in the palm of one’s hand. We have seen that in an important way the answer to this is ‘yes’. The Bible’s message is not complicated; a child can understand its basic story, its themes, and its plans for the future. Yet the answer is also ‘no’. To know – and to really grasp – the message of the Bible is to know something of the mind of God himself. And how can a mere human hope to do that? As the apostle Paul once again expressed it:

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?” (Romans 11:34).

Expanding and attempting to understand God’s purpose is a lifetime’s study and more.

Yet Paul’s final conclusion is not one of frustration – that he can never truly understand his God. Paradoxically Paul goes on to explain that God has made known His mind and His plan to us – though He is infinite – by His Spirit. He has done this in His Word the Bible. This is why the plot of the Bible – simple and yet utterly profound is so important to everyone of us.

Mark Vincent

Christian Monotheist

Kingdom Inhabitants by Dennis Palmer

The Bible explains that God’s kingdom is coming on this earth and that King Jesus will rule from the throne of God’s kingdom – in Jerusalem. A kingdom needs people – subjects of the king – as well as a land and a throne. Who will the subjects be, and what are the chances that we might be among them?

Vital Promises

God made crucial promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob about these kingdom people. They were told that their seed would dwell in the Promised Land, and so they did for many generations. But for nearly two thousand years the Jewish nation was separated from that land – they were in dispersion; Jews were to be found almost anywhere but in the land they had once occupied. Yet the promises of God remained unchanged. For example, Jesus had promised his disciples that in the coming Kingdom they would sit on thrones ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28). So, the Jews had to be brought back to their land if that promise was to be fulfilled – and there are many others that also require that to happen. Further, they have to dwell in peace in that land, under the rule of their King. They once rejected him, it is true, but when he comes again they will have to acknowledge him. The prophets are insistent that will happen. For example, the prophet Zechariah says of that time:

“I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on me whom they have pierced; they will mourn for him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for him as one grieves for a firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

Nation Reborn

… This is what Ezekiel says of the rebirth of Israel, and what Micah says about their eventual settled condition:

Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “When I have gathered the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and am hallowed in them in the sight of the Gentiles, then they will dwell in their own land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will dwell safely there, build houses, and plant vineyards; yes, they will dwell securely, when I execute judgments on all those around them who despise them. Then they shall know that I am Yahweh their God” (Ezekiel 28:25,26);

“Everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts has spoken. For all people walk each in the name of his god, but we will walk in the name of Yahweh our God forever and ever” (Micah 4:4,5).

Notice that all three prophets, including Zechariah, speak of a time when Israel will once again be a nation that is entirely dependent upon God as their protector and defender – a state that does not yet exist in the country, which is fiercely dependent upon its own military muscle and speed and force of action.

Only Israel?

The prophecies we have considered foretell members of the Jewish race being settled and at peace in the land of promise. But what about other people, from other races and nations? It is self-evident that those who oppose Jesus, and who seek to resist his Coming – as the Bible says some people will try to do – will not become citizens of the Kingdom of God. The coming of the Lord Jesus will be accompanied by the destruction of all his enemies. Thus, in one of his parables, Jesus said:

“Bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me” (Luke 19:27).

And there are many such passages that foretell the utter destruction of nations and individuals who seek to resist the return and rulership of the Lord.

Mortal Subjects

After this judgement there will be many people left alive on the earth who will become the subjects of the new King. They will be mortal citizens of the Kingdom of God, subject to his control and direction. They will have to learn the right way to live. They will be given laws by God and will have to obey them. Only in this way can the world be brought out of the absolute mess into which man had brought it by the mismanagement of it’s resources and by war. Those people will have to change their way of life very considerably, including the way they worship God. For God’s Kingdom will be a time when God is glorified and worshipped as He deserves to be by all His creation. The prophet Zechariah says:

“It shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (14:16).

And the prophet Micah writes:

“Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of Yahweh’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of Yahweh of hosts has spoken” (4:1-4).

Total Transformation

These two prophecies and, again, there are many more like them, give us a flavour of what it will be like for the mortal inhabitants of God’s Coming Kingdom – when the Lord Jesus rules from Jerusalem over all the world. Things will be absolutely different from how they are now. People will work together, and worship together. There will be peace and safety everywhere; there will be united worship – of the One True God – and the result will be a world that will be in harmony with God. It will be fruitful, stable, righteous and friendly – everything we could want for our children and ourselves. ….

Dennis Palmer