Consider today’s world! Advances in technology and industry have never been greater. What was once science fiction is now everyday reality. Material prosperity abounds for millions of people across the Western world. But what about the half of mankind—billions!—who have little or nothing? And what about mankind’s rapid decline in values, morals and character—once believed to be the most vital underpinnings of any society? Is the human race equipped, and are its leaders collectively willing, to solve the greatest challenges of civilization—or must a greater unseen power intervene?
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Your Kingdom come!” The next thing He instructed was directly related: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” A loving God must soon send His Kingdom to end man’s failed experiment or there will be no world to receive it!
Jesus Christ’s Return—His “Second Coming”—is central to Christianity. Billions are waiting for it. Scoffers deny it. But those who know anything of God’s Word know Jesus is returning. Every indicator suggests His Coming cannot be far away. The Bible speaks extensively about how Jesus will establish the Kingdom of God, sometimes called the Kingdom of Heaven. Few things could be more important. Jesus Himself plainly described how God’s Kingdom will begin—and it is not what you’ve learned. This booklet contains knowledge never before explained! And it represents only a tiny fraction of all the biblical proof throughout the Old and New Testaments of how the Kingdom of God will arrive in a manner no one is hearing about!
God’s Kingdom will bring His marvelous way of life to those living in it, which will one day include the whole world. But not at first…
The universally held belief is that Jesus Christ will return to Earth in Jerusalem, and this will follow three-and-a-half years of Great Tribulation—involving the seven seals of Revelation. Vast numbers of mankind will die. He will then immediately establish a world supergovernment. The Bible says none of this! While all of these things will happen in their time, and will in every way be worse than anyone imagines, God’s Word is most plain that Christ’s Return will come in an entirely different manner than what anybody is looking for!
No one asks why the very last question Jesus was asked by His disciples was: “Lord, will You at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). Yet they had just six weeks before heard Christ explain in detail—recorded in Matthew (24), Mark (13) and Luke (21)—all the things that would have to happen before His Return to Jerusalem, reflecting a period of years. How then could they have asked such a question? How could they seemingly have so quickly forgotten everything Christ told them?
The apostles did know two things: (1) The Kingdom of God would first appear in the form of a restoration to the 12 tribes of Israel, not immediately as a world government. They also knew that (2) “it is not for you [them or us] to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power” (Acts 1:7). Exactly when Jesus would build the Kingdom was left a mystery—although He supplied numerous indicators—but there was to be no mystery about how it would come. The apostles well understood the nature of the Kingdom at its outset. This will become plain!
Let’s ask a surprising question, one that no one seems to consider. How many comings of Jesus does the Bible describe? Contrasting verses hold the surprising answer. The prophet Haggai wrote of Jesus’ Return, “Thus says the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations [long understood to be Jesus Christ] shall come…” (2:6-7). Vast numbers today are looking for and desiring Christ’s coming. While most understand little about His arrival, the Christian masses do desire it, with greater reason every day to hope for it more than the day before because of worldwide character breakdown!
Here’s the problem—and it’s big! The book of Revelation speaks of a very different reaction to Jesus’ appearance: “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever…the nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged…and [You] should destroy them which destroy the earth” (11:15, 18). A picture of angry nations is incompatible with Haggai.
These passages cannot refer to the same time!
Lacking knowledge of Christ’s multiple comings, many assert He comes and immediately vanquishes all enemies, establishing His Kingdom. Revelation appears to say this, but consider I Corinthians 15:25, which shows something entirely different, saying Christ “must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet.” Those who would suggest He arrives, reigns for a split second, then annihilates all enemies are simply ignoring this verse, with many others.
But the problem gets even bigger.
The gospel writer Luke records a curious exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees: “When He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered…The kingdom of God comes not with observation: neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (17:20-21). “Within you” is correctly translated “in your midst”—so Christ meant that just His presence can signal the Kingdom’s presence. He was not saying God’s Kingdom was within leaders He called hypocrites, serpents and fools! The Pharisees demanded knowledge of the Kingdom’s arrival because they anticipated a Messiah who would sweep the Romans away and set up a world government—with themselves administering it! It is evident that Jesus had nothing like that in mind. Notice the Kingdom was to arrive “without observation.” The meaning of the Greek is without “inspection” or “ocular evidence.” Ocular relates to the eyes. So Christ said God’s Kingdom arrives in some unseen way.
This coming is distinct from both Haggai and Revelation, which plainly describe all nations looking for—and AT!—Christ’s appearing. Jesus was not confused about His own coming, and would have to make sure we were not either. He does this.
Understand. Christ’s initial coming has nothing to do with the false Protestant belief that Christ secretly “raptures” His servants to heaven. Nowhere does God’s Word say Jesus takes Christians back to heaven with Him. (Many verses prove this.) You will see plain passages showing He establishes God’s Kingdom on Earth, using servants that are here. This will become clear.
Christ’s “unseen” coming—what you will see to be His next coming—is our focus. No true Christian doubts that Christ is coming. But no one is explaining how He will come—when He is coming (under what conditions)—where He will arrive—why He must come—and what He will do first. They simply don’t know.
Another Incompatible Picture
The world is in terrible turmoil today—but what we are experiencing is a relative calm compared to the horrific events of Revelation, long thought to precede Christ’s next coming. Does the Bible really say that Jesus Christ returns to Earth with the world on the brink of total destruction?
Many have come to believe America and the West, and potentially the whole world, are poised to enter a period of unprecedented prosperity. Does this conflict with the conditions Jesus said must be in place at His arrival—or, does it indicate His coming may be closer than ever? Which? You will be shocked at His plain words.
Matthew 24 presents a fascinating, seemingly contradictory picture. After Christ informed the disciples that every stone of the temple would be “thrown down,” they asked three questions. Notice: “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the world?” (vs. 3). Of course they meant His coming to Jerusalem because He had immediately spoken before this (Matt. 23:39) of His Return there.
Get this. The disciples wanted to know when Christ was coming back to Jerusalem! But Christ went on to describe two entirely incompatible returns—in the same chapter! The beginning of the chapter answers their question, foretelling horrific war, starvation, disease, earthquakes, great tribulation and terrifying heavenly signs all leading up to, “As the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (vs. 27, 30).
Understand! In this description, Jesus does not come to Jerusalem until calamity on an unprecedented scale has first struck Earth! Obviously nothing remotely like what He described here is going on now—meaning this return cannot be imminent. Also note the obvious visible nature of this return—one that comes “with observation.”
Now compare this to what Jesus went on to say near the end of the very same chapter: “As the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (vs. 37-39, 44). But ponder this. The entire world in fact does “think not” that Jesus comes during good times—the opposite of war, famine, disease, earthquakes, etc.
In the midst of what would be a booming world economy, great moral depravity is also foretold. Let’s read Genesis 6 to understand Noah’s time. This was a time when “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (vs. 5). Verses 11 through 13 add detail: “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them.”
Character breakdown was so bad that God determined to wipe out almost all of mankind: “Behold, I will destroy them with the earth” (vs. 13). God even stated that He regretted creating mankind—“It repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart” (vs. 6). Yet Jesus had said that at this same time, economic conditions and the usual flow of society—“eating, drinking, marrying, etc.”—was continuing as normal.
Luke 17 adds more about today’s worldwide collapse of character. It begins with repeating the description of Noah’s time, before bringing in another biblical period: “As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot [the time of Sodom and Gomorrah]; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed” (vs. 26-30).
Everyone who knows anything about the Bible understands that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of mass sexual perversion that had overtaken the entire populace of these towns, and had also spread to the “cities of the plain” around them as such perversion always does. So while life looked normal in Sodom—and more detail is given of this time than Noah’s day—the condition of people’s character was degenerate at a level never before seen.
Here is the main point for our purpose now. Economically, these two societies were enjoying normal times—times of prosperity, including plenty to eat, which is the opposite of famine. But these times were suddenly and violently interrupted by punishment from God. In the modern parallel, Jesus Christ returns and this is followed by the fulfillment of many horrific prophecies—that precede His coming to Jerusalem.
Come to grips with the fact that the popular narrative—that things greatly worsen before Christ returns to Earth—directly fights Jesus’ plain words! An arrival heralded by growing, never-before-seen horror—meaning many events that are visible to everyone on Earth, including Christ’s Return to Jerusalem—as the lightning shines from the east to the west—could in no way be likened to the arrival of a totally unexpected coming “without observation” that occurs in good times—times of building, buying, selling, eating, drinking and marrying, etc.
Now a big point. All of this is plainly telling you that the Return of Christ is much CLOSER than you think and what millions of preachers are saying! Think about what Jesus said and whether you will believe Him, or confused ministers.
But what else does the Bible say about this coming? You will be surprised.
Mustard Seed Kingdom
Everyone knows Jesus spoke often in parables. In Matthew 13 alone, He presented seven—most very short. Each illustrates aspects of the Kingdom, collectively painting a full picture. The place to start is verse 31: “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becomes a tree, so the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (vs. 31-32). The mustard seeds Jesus’ audience was familiar with were extremely small—very hard to see. This is why He called them the “least [meaning small in size] of all seeds.” God’s Kingdom is akin to microscopic when it arrives! No one focuses on this. It eventually grows into a world government, becoming the “greatest among herbs”—a “tree”—but it does not start that way. This parable is never mentioned because nobody truly understands it.
So there could be no doubt of the Kingdom’s small beginning, the next parable confirms this: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (vs. 33). The Greek word “hid” is egkrupto, meaning concealed in. Think of the modern equivalent—encrypted. Jesus says—literally—He is bringing an encrypted Kingdom. It is initially hidden—initially concealed among the nations!—but it expands because leaven always spreads.
Jesus underscores this in a third parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man has found, he hides, and for joy thereof goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field” (vs. 44). “Hid” here comes from krupto, meaning “to conceal by covering.” Christ’s message is again made clear: God’s Kingdom starts tiny, hidden—and covered. One must go and find it!
Yet another parable confirms this: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls” (vs. 45). Rare and precious, naturally occurring pearls are hard to find. “Who, when he had found one pearl of great price [it was hidden and he had to look for it], went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (vs. 45-46). Ask: Would anyone have to look for a Kingdom that was all over the Earth from its inception—which is the popular teaching? Besides reinforcing the mustard seed and leaven parables, the hid treasure and pearl parables also add focus to the value of entering the Kingdom.
Before looking at the three remaining parables of Matthew 13, realize that every kingdom on Earth today has four necessary components: (1) Land, property or territory—however large or small. There must be clear boundaries establishing the size of the kingdom. (2) A ruler or king leading the government. (3) People—subjects—living within the territory governed. And (4) a system of laws and rules with a basic structure of government.
Despite its size, when the mustard seed Kingdom arrives, it does have all four elements. It is a literal Kingdom. Do not spiritualize it away as a church, or something “in the hearts of men.”
Three More Parables
A fifth parable shows expansion of God’s Kingdom from a small beginning, as well as something else no one seems to notice: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea…” (vs. 47). The net starts out empty. Over time it fills with fish of “every kind”—people from all nations. But not all “fish” belong: “When it was full, they drew to shore, sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world [or age, when Christ moves to Jerusalem]: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just [note this!], and shall cast them into the furnace [or oven] of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (vs. 48-50). (The end of the wicked is incompatible with an ever-burning afterlife. For more on this, the reader will want to read our booklet The Truth About Hell.)
Abandon any notion that the Kingdom of God begins with only divine spirit beings. This parable dispels that misconception. The wicked can get into the Kingdom and must at a point be removed!
Yet another Matthew 13 parable describes wheat and poisonous tares initially growing together in the Kingdom of Heaven. Obviously the Kingdom is not in heaven. Christ instructs that the tares must remain with the wheat until the harvest—when He shifts to Jerusalem. He explains that, at this point, as when the net is pulled to shore—after the mustard seed Kingdom has been on Earth for some time—angels gather “out of the kingdom” the tares and “all the things that offend and do iniquity,” repeating that these are burned in a furnace.
So then, the first phase of this Kingdom is such that, as it grows, the wrong kinds of people can get in. Christ said this twice, using easy illustrations so the point cannot be missed. Verse 43 calls the harvest the time when the righteous in the Father’s Kingdom “shine forth as the sun.” The Greek means “become resplendent.” Other passages make clear it is at this point many more saints, people who qualified for rule in God’s Kingdom, join Christ and a small number of early administrators (Luke 12:32) in Jerusalem where He will superimpose His Kingdom over all nations. It will have by then sprouted into the large mustard tree that started from the smallest seed.
The very first parable in Matthew 13 brings yet another perspective, showing those who ultimately succeed in the Kingdom. Jesus spoke of a sower that cast seed, with some falling on good ground, some on stony ground, some where thorns could choke it, and some falling by the wayside. As with the wheat and tares, Jesus went on to interpret it for us: “Hear you [or understand] therefore the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom [a special, and powerful, ongoing worldwide proclamation beginning when the tiny Kingdom has come], and understands it not, then comes the wicked one [Satan], and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word [of the Kingdom], and…with joy receives it; yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word [many do not want to hear of the Kingdom], by and by he is offended” (vs. 18-21).
Notice also that tribulation and persecution are associated with subjects in the Kingdom! Yet the rewards will be awesome. No one ever hears that such a thing is possible. Yet conditions will be far from easy for subjects in the Kingdom’s first short phase—when God’s focus is on restoring the Kingdom to those who live in the nations that are descended from the 12 tribes of Israel.
Continuing the parable, “He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the [same] word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (vs. 22).
Here is the last category: “He that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word [of the Kingdom], and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirty” (vs. 23). This is the only category of hearer who survives—and these thrive.
Matthew 13 alone is enough to understand that all popular Kingdom narratives are woefully incomplete—and often totally wrong! Be careful of rejecting or spiritualizing away plain teachings about how God’s Kingdom will come simply because you have never heard them before—because no one else teaches them. God has His Church and this is where He reveals His truth.
But there is much more to learn.
The “Little Flock”
Jesus used a fascinating term to describe a group that would be the early administrators in His tiny Kingdom. Like the Kingdom itself, this group will not be large to start. In Luke 12, Jesus instructed His servants to “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (vs. 32). “Little” is mikros in the Greek. It is a micro-flock that takes a tiny Kingdom—how logical and easy to understand!
Another parable in Luke 19 describes a nobleman (Christ) who went to a far country (heaven) to “get for himself a kingdom” (vs. 12). This parable carries an extraordinary message for every true Christian. It describes a judgment, a reckoning, that comes immediately to a group of “servants” upon Christ’s arrival bringing His small Kingdom. Notice: “…when He was returned [from heaven], having received the kingdom, then He commanded these servants to be called unto Him, to whom He had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading” (vs. 15). Some servants had passed God’s test, others failed it.
Reading the whole account reveals that those who succeed are placed over cities on Earth (not yet the entire Earth) in the initial phase of the Kingdom. God has been working with people all over the world, preparing them for leadership positions in the initial phase of the Kingdom. Only after a reckoning of past performance before Christ’s judgment seat (Rom. 14:10; II Cor. 5:10) will these specially called and trained servants be permitted to rule.
Matthew 25 contains a related account, in which some are told, “Well done, you good and faithful servant: you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter you into the joy of your lord” (vs. 21). The “joy of the Lord” involves what is the first phase of salvation as well as receiving a part in governing what will be a fast growing Kingdom—a role with the purpose of helping others enter the Kingdom during its first short phase, so that they also can qualify to rule at a point a little later. Anyone desiring to come into and under the Kingdom will have opportunity.
Christ as King
Jesus Christ, as King of the mustard seed Kingdom, also Himself starts “small” in how He manifests Himself and in the initial scope of His rule. The account of Christ’s ascension to heaven holds an eye-opening clue that no one ever notices. Recall the apostles’ question: “Lord, will You at this time restore again the Kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). After His answer it adds, “While they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel” (vs. 9-10). These two men, actually angels, asked, “…Why stand you gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus [a man, not a Spirit Being in glorified form], which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven” (vs. 11).
The phrase “this same” in reference to Jesus is an all-important key. The Greek actually means “this this” Jesus, with the Greek word being the same word repeated in the original text for both “this” and “same.” The angels were emphasizing that Jesus would return in the identical human form He had when He ascended.
It is not surprising then that Christ is so often called “the Son of Man.” This is because He intends to continue (initially) His first-century form when He returns. Let’s see more proof.
The prophet Jeremiah described Christ in His expanding Kingdom by an unusual name, while also calling Him its King: “Behold, the days come, says the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days [at a point, but not right away] Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (23:5-6). The Hebrew for “Branch” is sprout. Like mustard seeds, sprouts are also tiny to begin. This “sprout” depiction is completely incompatible with an all-powerful Jesus Christ returning in glorified form.
Ten chapters later Jeremiah adds more, confirming something crucial about sprouts: “I [will] cause the Branch [sprout] of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness…” (33:15). The Hebrew “grow up” is simply the verb form of sprout. God is saying, literally, He will cause the sprout to sprout. Ponder the enormity of what we are being told. Jesus’ role will grow from small to large.
Both accounts in Jeremiah tie the “Branch” to King David. Notice another prophecy about Christ from the angel Gabriel to Mary: “He [Christ] shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33). At His mustard seed coming, Christ sits on King David’s throne before later assuming His own throne in Jerusalem (when David comes up to receive the vacated throne Jesus had just occupied).
From “His Place”
Powerfully confirming Jeremiah, Zechariah 6 also pictures growth toward worldwide rule. This verse is perhaps the most plain of those speaking about Christ as a Branch: “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the MAN [again, not a Spirit Being in glorified form] whose name is the Branch [sprout]; and He shall grow up [sprout] out of His place [where He resided away from Jerusalem], and He shall build the temple of the Lord: even He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon His throne [at a later time]; and He shall be a priest upon His throne…” (vs. 12-13). This last part obviously involves Christ ruling in glory from a physical temple that would have to be in Jerusalem.
The term “His place” is fascinating—and truly incredible in what it reveals. It means “the bottom, depressed, below, underneath.” Thus the Kingdom—and Christ—start from what God Himself calls the bottom—a depressed place—below—meaning in a place that is concealed and underneath the “skyline” of human kingdoms and nations. Let’s learn something else.
Zechariah 6:12 pictures Christ growing out of an undisclosed location—“His place”—to ultimately build two temples.
The first half of the verse describes building the spiritual Temple, which we will see is the Church. This fits perfectly with Malachi 3:1, which describes Christ returning to Earth to His Temple. Notice: “Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts.”
This cannot be a physical temple in Jerusalem because none exists there today. The Jews do not even occupy the Temple Mount! Notice that Malachi says Christ coming to His Temple means to a people who seek and desire Him.
The apostle Paul defined this Temple as the Church: “Know you not that you [the Church—God’s people] are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defiles the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (I Cor. 3:16-17). (Also see I Corinthians 6:19-20.) Here’s how the apostle Peter describes true Christians: “You also, as lively [meaning living] stones, are built up a spiritual house, [a] holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 2:5). It is living stones (human beings) that collectively form the spiritual “temple of God.”
Christ greatly expands the number of people in this spiritual Temple through the first phase of His Kingdom, during what we will see is called “the marvelous Work and Wonder.”
Where the Kingdom Begins
The almost universally believed destination of Christ’s Return is Jerusalem. But is this what God’s Word says? Christ will of course ultimately rule from there—countless scriptures show this—but is this where His tiny mustard seed Kingdom begins? Does His first-century coming provide a clue?
Notice Jesus was born to Mary in “a city of Galilee, named Nazareth” (Luke 1:26)—well north of Jerusalem! Far from a prominent city, Nazareth was scoffed at as a kind of dead-end backwater by Jerusalemites. After Jesus called Peter, He then called Philip who reported to Nathaniel that they had found Christ. Not convinced, Nathaniel asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46). Clearly Christ’s first-century coming was to an unexpected place. His arrival shocked and confused the masses: “Others said, this is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?” (7:41). Both Nazareth and Galilee were looked down on by the elites of Jesus’ day.
Christ started His ministry away from Jerusalem—a pattern we will see holds.
The prophet Micah further establishes the Kingdom moves to Jerusalem: “O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem” (4:8). It does not say the Kingdom—Christ’s rule long before events in Revelation, after which it picks up again to continue for 1,000 more years—is built in Zion or starts in Zion. (Nor does it say it arrives there from heaven.) Micah says it “comes” there, meaning it was initially somewhere else. Of course it was—in a location called “His place!”
Let’s look at one last description of the Branch in an unusual context. The setting is a great war that afflicts the nations of modern Israel—and the disastrous effect on Jerusalem and the tribe of Judah: “Your men shall fall by the sword, and your mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground. And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man [the survivors of the war], saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by your name, to take away our reproach” (Isa. 3:25-4:1).
Many other Bible passages detail the war that Isaiah references—where it starts, how it spreads, who it affects, and its unimaginable severity. This is a completely separate event that occurs long, long before Armageddon, but this is not our subject here. Those who think the world is already at war between clashing cultures will soon realize today’s events are essentially NOTHING by comparison! Conditions will grow infinitely worse and eventually engulf all the nations of the West. What is coming is beyond imagination. Therefore most will be caught completely off guard.
Isaiah continues, showing something else that is happening alongside the war. Let’s read what no one ever sees: “In that day [by this time, when the devastation of war has grown great] shall the Branch [the growing, maturing sprout] of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth…excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel [from the war]. And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem [many will have died]: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning” (vs. 2-4). Fiery judgment is involved, including the furnace we earlier read about. Read Isaiah 31:9.
By this point the Branch and the Kingdom—having already been on Earth for some time—are flourishing! This is the result of the previously mentioned “Marvelous Work,” covered further momentarily. The fruit is called “excellent and comely,” meaning an “ornament.” Christ is called “glorious” and “beautiful,” the latter meaning “in the sense of prominence; splendor (as conspicuous)”—by this time the Kingdom has become the opposite of small and hidden! It is conspicuous and prominent! At this point many millions of people will have come into the Kingdom. Try to make all of this—any of it!—fit the popular narrative! No one is teaching it, yet it is the truth of your Bible visible in plain sight on its pages.
Isaiah 59 brings another perspective of Christ coming to Jerusalem—again, years after His Kingdom began small: “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, says the Lord” (vs. 20). Then (chapter 60) begins, “Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen [risen, not descended] upon you [remember, from a depressed place, underneath and below view]. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon you, and His glory shall be seen upon you” (vs. 1-2). Ponder this. If Jesus started His journey from heaven, He would be described as descending—not rising—on Zion! Do not miss this! Many verses do confirm Jesus comes from heaven to His people. But it is several years later that He comes to the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and shortly after that to Zion, which is adjacent to it.
Location of Christ’s “Place”
Certain passages further prove Christ relocates to Zion, and these provide clues about which nation He will come to. A prophecy for our time—the latter days—that almost no one talks about is found in Numbers 24. The prophet Balaam foretold, “In the latter days…there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre [Ruler] shall rise out of Israel [not Judah]…Out of Jacob shall come He that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remains of the city [this is Jerusalem]” (vs. 14, 17, 19).
Called the “Star” here, other passages describe Christ as the “Sun of Righteousness” (Mal. 4:2), “Day Star” (II Pet. 1:19) and the “Bright and Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16). He brings His dominion—His rule!—to Jerusalem and Judah from a different modern nation of Jacob (Israel). This cannot merely be referencing Christ’s birth lineage because He was born of Judah, and in Judea. Many scriptures covered in my thorough book America and Britain in Prophecy make clear the distinction between Judah and the other 11 tribes of Israel. In fact, the very first reference to “the Jews” in the Bible shows them at war with Israel (II Kgs. 16:1-6)! The modern Mideast nation called Israel is in fact Judah, with the democratic, English-speaking nations of the West identified as the descendants of the rest of the tribes of ancient Israel. Jesus Christ first comes to one of these countries, NOT Judah!
Isaiah 41 contains more proof: “I have raised up One from the north, and He shall come” (vs. 25). “North” means “hidden, dark; used only of the north.” Isaiah continues, leaving no doubt this is Jesus Christ: “He shall come upon princes as upon mortar [establishing His authority over all earthly leaders], and as the potter treads clay. Who has declared from the beginning, that we may know?…and I will [at this point] give to Jerusalem One that brings good tidings” (vs. 25-27). Here is a prophecy of Christ being “raised up”—think “growing up”—sprouting from—a northern country (a modern Israelite nation of the West) to defeat His enemies.
This intervention, coupled with good tidings—the true gospel—is absolutely necessary given that utter horror begins in Jerusalem the very day Christ’s little Kingdom begins and grows worse until His arrival there.
A Coming City
We saw earlier that a Kingdom contains four elements—land, a king, subjects and law. Of course, the territory would also contain a structure from which to rule. Does Christ build all of this upon arrival—or does He bring it with Him? Recall the Nobleman of Luke 19 who went to get (from heaven) a Kingdom.
So this Kingdom comes from heaven. This is consistent with the Acts 1 account. The same disciples who asked about Christ’s Return would have heard Him explain the following from John 14: “Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house [Greek: residence or abode] are many mansions [Greek: residences]: if it were not so, I would have told you…” (vs. 1-2). Christ is telling us to believe whatever He is about to say—no matter how unbelievable it may seem! Continuing, “…I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (vs. 2-3). This is Jesus Christ coming from heaven to His people, not the other way around.
The Greek word translated “place” is topos, from which comes the word topography. The word can also be translated “a spot or locality.” Christ spoke of bringing this already prepared place when He returns to Earth. Could any doubt He was speaking of His next coming?
Christ is bringing mansions from heaven for His tiny Kingdom. But where will they sit?
Revelation 22 pictures a coming city. Christ’s Return is the context: “Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be [this is an element of the reckoning or judgment described earlier]. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Next is a very distinct description of the city’s setting: “For without are dogs [false prophets and ministers], and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loves and makes a lie” (vs. 12-15). This passage is also connected to Christ being the offspring [Branch] of King David’s lineage: “I Jesus have sent My angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the Bright and Morning Star” (vs. 16).
This “city” cannot be Zion nor Jerusalem. No false prophets, sorcerers, whoremongers, murderers, idolaters and liars will be permitted anywhere beyond the confines of Zion—or anywhere in Judah, or for that matter the whole world—once Christ returns to Jerusalem, to Zion. The latter chapters of Zechariah show this, especially 13:1-3. Neither can this city be “New Jerusalem” established at the outset of Christ’s later 1,000-year rule. All who oppose God—every person on Earth who took the Mark of the Beast—will be executed before the arrival of that city. So the above categories of people could not be “without”—meaning outside it. Just think of the devil being bound at this time. This makes impossible that there could be even one sorcerer anywhere on Earth. The same with false prophets and idolaters. Also, since the devil is the “father of murder and lies” (John 8:44), there will be no murder and love of lying.
All through Revelation 21 and chapter 22 verse 5, John records Christ’s message about the awesome New Jerusalem that will come to Earth at the start of Christ’s later Millennial reign. At the very end of Revelation 22, God does briefly reference again New Jerusalem, calling it the “holy city.” Do not miss the crucial distinction!
“Marvelous Work and Wonder”
During the mustard seed Kingdom, vast numbers will come to know these Bible truths in what God, through the prophet Habakkuk, calls a “marvelous Work.” Notice: “Behold you among the [nations], and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, which you will not believe, though it be told you” (1:5). In Scripture, a “Work” represents God’s servants’ teaching and warning all who will listen. Will you believe advance report of this Work?
The prophet Isaiah powerfully underscores what Habakkuk foretold: “Behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder [a miracle]: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” (29:14).
Paul also cited Habakkuk in the book of Acts, altering it slightly: “Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets [Habakkuk]; Behold, you despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which you shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you” (13:40-41).
This means we should expect a gigantic, Earth-rattling Work to open the Kingdom—one so far-reaching it will stagger the mind—one that cannot be fully comprehended until it’s seen—that upon hearing of it most won’t believe it! This booklet is not only declaring it to you, but adding that it is coming soon!
A related, little-understood prophecy hints at the length of the Marvelous Work, which occurs during the first phase of the Kingdom. Daniel 9:27 explains the length of Christ’s first coming, but also of the first phase of His Return. Let’s read: “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…”
Our complete article on this subject shows this “week” began in the fall of AD 27—exactly the time Christ’s ministry began. Christ—the “sacrifice and the oblation” for mankind—was killed in the “midst”—middle of—a week, representative of seven prophetic years (Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6). It is common knowledge that His earthly ministry lasted three-and-a-half years. Three-and-a-half more years would be required to finish the “prophetic week” that constitutes Christ’s ministry. This appears to be the length of the first phase of Christ’s restoring the Kingdom to all Israel.
No wonder the prophet Habakkuk prayed, “O Lord, revive Your [Christ’s!] Work in the midst of the years” (3:2). The Hebrew for “midst” means center. He was clearly prophesying of the “revival” of Christ’s ministry in the middle of the seven-year “week” spoken of by Daniel (9:27). The final three-and-a-half years of this Work—Christ’s ministry—are yet to be fulfilled, and will occur soon!
Coming Worldwide Counterfeit
This booklet would not be complete without the soberest of warnings. Many are surprised to learn that the Bible calls Satan “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4), who has through history “deceived the nations” (Rev. 20:3). In Matthew 4, the devil claimed ownership of “all the kingdoms of the world” (vs. 8)—a fact Christ did not dispute.
Satan seeks to counterfeit everything. Look what precedes Christ’s Return. Speaking of “…the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him” (II Thes. 2:1), Paul records, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first [a prophecy fulfilled in the 20th-century], and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (vs. 3). The apostle John called this man the “antichrist” (I John 2:18).
So this figure comes before Christ’s return. The same passage goes on to show the source—and extent—of his power: “…whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (II Thes. 2:9). He brings the full power of the devil to bear—something akin to what Job experienced, but that the world collectively has never even begun to imagine!
This man will tower over the world at his coming. He claims to be God: “…He as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (vs. 4). This man’s reach (and many verses show that there are two other men who work alongside and under him) extends beyond Christianity—he “opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped” (vs. 4)—every religion on Earth!
The prophet Habakkuk, whom Paul quoted in Hebrews 10 regarding the man of sin, adds to this man’s profile: “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Yes also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathers unto him all nations, and heaps unto him all people” (Hab. 2:4-5). Here is a man who is of the devil, but who holds such awesome power that all nations of the world buckle to his will. No one is talking about this man because no one understands him or could believe the enormous reach and power that he will bring. A number of verses make plain that this counterfeit will be very short-lived. (Other helpful related verses to read include II Corinthians 11:4; all of Habakkuk 2; all of II Timothy 3; Zechariah 11:15-17; James 5:1-6; Matthew 7:15-23 and Luke 21:8, 35-36.)
Christ’s mustard seed Kingdom begins the very day this man’s reign ends. Returning to II Thessalonians, “…the Lord shall consume [him] with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy [him] with the brightness of His coming” (2:8).
Keep this simple. A man wielding tremendous Satanic power will assume worldwide control just before Christ sets up His Kingdom. All indications are that this man’s coming is soon!
The Unmistakable Picture
A basic summary. Christ first comes to His people—His Temple—in good times, bringing His Kingdom “without observation.” It begins in microscopic fashion and is hidden! It is also initially led by a little flock under Christ. He will at first hide His presence by being sprout-like. During this first phase of the Kingdom will come terrible punishment on the nations descended from Jacob, making them finally ready to receive God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom will be growing in number of subjects before Christ transfers a ready-to-be greatly expanded world government to Jerusalem. From there He will rule all nations with a larger group of saints coming from His by then much larger flock. It is at this point He will build the glorious Third Temple on Mount Zion (Ezek. 40-48).
If you are surprised, even shocked, at the simple truths within Jesus’ parables, and wonder why you have never been taught their meaning, recognize that He designed them to confuse those He was not calling. Here’s what Jesus said: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed…” (Matt. 13:13-15). The masses choose to close their eyes to the truth of the Bible. Parables keep them from understanding what they don’t want to hear.
But you can understand! Speaking more of the reason for parables, Matthew added, “All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke He not unto them…saying, I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world” (13:34-35).
You’ve received precious knowledge—kept secret from the world. It is not the popular traditions—fables—of modern Christendom, but Jesus’ plain words—now understood in our time. God has been waiting for thousands of years to establish His Kingdom on an Earth that desperately needs it. Yet it will not come as billions expect. Think. You’ve heard word of the Kingdom before it comes. There is great advantage in this! Christ is today preparing a specially chosen team of qualified administrators in advance of its arrival to rule under Him.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ built His Church—the true Church—the only one He built. This Church believes and teaches the truths of the Bible—all of them—not human ideas—any of them! The people of this Church have always stood in the plain certainty of what God promises for those alive at the end—not the false hope of human inventions.
Now—will you cling to long-held beliefs—or take hold of life-changing truth?