2 Ths. 2:3-4, ‘Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away [from the truth, the Lord Jesus Christ,] comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’
Mt. 23:16, ‘Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’
Most Christians are very confused about the substance and location of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven.
Read the article, which explains the difference
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THE FOLLOWING ACCOUNT OF JESUS’ ARREST, TRIAL, AND CRUCIFIXION IS TOLD IN THE CONTEXT OF ALL FOUR GOSPELS, (MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN,) AS WELL AS HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE AND THE PREFECT OF CAESAR THAT RESIDED OVER JUDEA, PONTIUS PILATE
THE HARSH KINGDOM-NOW RULE OF PONTIUS PILATE
Readers Digest wrote in ‘Jesus and His Times,’ “The emperor Tiberius took power in Rome in A.D. 14. His domain included Judea, which was plagued by age-old tension of religion and politics. [Between Hebrews and Romans.] In A.D. 26 Tiberius named a new prefect of Judea, Pontius Pilate.
“Pilate had little sympathy for his Jewish subjects and soon provoked their hatred, but he did know how to carry favor with the emperor. He erected a building, possibly a temple, honoring Tiberius in Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine, and inscribed both the emperor’s name and his own on one of its stones.”
This was the Roman Version of the Kingdom-Now theology. The beast from the earth had created a ‘godly’ kingdom here on earth, ruled by a divine emperor. The crushing taxes, among other things, which Pontius Pilate introduced, forced Hebrews to cry out against their oppressor. Many revolutionists arose among them, [Although the punishment for the crime of treason; rising up or inciting riots against Caesar, was crucifixion.] “These were political rebels like the two ‘unnamed ‘thieves’ or ‘robbers’ who were crucified beside Jesus, and would be more accurately described as ‘insurrectionists.’” - [‘Jesus And His Times,’ Readers Digest]
These Jewish revolutionists were no ordinary criminals. They were adherents of the Judaist Law; terrorists fighting to manifest the Israel Vision of ‘god’s political kingdom’ here on earth. They saw themselves – and were perceived by the Jews – as ‘the freedom-fighters of Yahweh.’ They were guerilla fighters, opposed to the Spiritual Kingdom of the Spiritual King, the Lord Jesus Christ. They instigated and infuriated the Jews with high political expectations and excessive National pride, causing serious political unrest and violent riots.
The mighty army of Caesar’s Prefect, Pontius Pilate, always curbed these revolts, and many of the Jewish rebels were tortured, incarcerated, and crucified for political crimes against the Roman Empire. The Romans reserved the public humiliation and indescribable agony of the cross for political rebels who coveted the throne of Caesar; inciting a culture of fear among enemies of the Empire and thus declaring Caesar’s boundless power over his conquered foes. Hence, crucifixion was designed for criminals without Roman citizenship.
JESUS DID NOT MEET JEWISH KINGDOM-NOW EXPECTATIONS
The ordinary Hebrew might not have known the Jewish Scriptures very well, but the Scribes and Pharisees knew that Prov. 30:4 spoke of God’s Son, the coming Hebrew Christ, as foretold in Micah 5 and throughout their Scriptures, (our Old Testament.) They knew the coming Savior would be born of a virgin, (Isa. 7:14,) from the tribe of Judah, and in the city of Bethlehem, (Micah 5:1.) He would be called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Being God Himself, (Col. 2:9,) His Name, during both Old Testament and New Testament times, is YHWH, the Great “I Am Who I Am,” (Ex. 3:13-15.) Hence, Jesus continuously declared during His earthly ministry, “I Am the Good Shepherd, I Am the Alpha and Omega, I Am the Way, the Truth; I Am the Resurrection and the Life; I Am the Door, I Am the Beginning and the End, the One Who Is, Was, and Is to come, the Lord God Almighty,” Rev. 1:6-8; 15:3.] He would reign [spiritually] upon the throne of David for all eternity, (Is. 9:6-7; Jer. 23:5.) His parents would take Him and flee to Egypt to save His life, (Hos. 11:1.) He would become the Great Prophet of Israel, (Deut. 18:18;) and do astounding miracles among them, (Isa. 61; 35:5-6; 41:1-7.)
He would be more than the Spiritual Savior of the Jewish nation. The scribes also knew from their own prophesies that He would be rejected by His own people, mocked, beaten, and most cruelly tortured to death, but, as the Sacrificial Lamb of God, “not one of His bones would be broken,” (Is. 53, Ex. 12:46 – Jn. 19:31-36; Num. 9:12.) He would rise bodily from the grave, as God “will not allow His Holy One to see corruption,” and become the Mediator of the Eternal New Testament Covenant between God and all believing people, both Hebrews and all those from the Gentile (or non-Hebrew) nations, (Ps. 16:8-11 Is. 55:3-5; Jn. 3:16; 1:1013.)
Through His suffering, death, and resurrection He would bring spiritual life to all those who believe in Him, (Is. 53,) and He would become the Spiritual Christ of the whole world, (Deut. 32:21; Is. 65:1.) Zechariah even prophesied that God “will pour on the [spiritual, personally, New Covenant] house of David… the Spirit of grace and supplication, [with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Joel 2:28-32.] Then, [at His return to earth] they [who rejected and crucified Him] will look on Him Whom they have pierced. Yes, they will… grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zech. 12:10)
However, as countless Christians through the ages, these Kingdom-Now ‘thieves and robbers’ (Jn. 10:10,) did not view God’s Word in earnest – or in context, to find the real Truth of the Scriptures, Jesus Himself, (Jn. 14:6.) In spite of all God’s prophesies and warnings concerning the Spiritual Christ, Jesus, these Rabbinic teachers still expected a great military leader who would free the Hebrew nation from Roman oppression.
Satan, utilizing the evil, distorting influence of the Jewish council, (the Sanhedrin,) deceived the people to fervently hope for a great political liberator; a charismatic statesman and military leader. Instead of believing that Jesus came to first fulfill their grave spiritual need, they focused on the social ills of the Hebrew nation, while considering the wealthy, privileged positions they enjoyed as the religious leaders of the Hebrew nation.
Yet, many of His people believed that Jesus, the Life-speaking, Truth-talking, water-walking, miracle Healer and Exorcist from God, was their long-awaited Political King and Spiritual Christ from heaven.
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the great multitude of pilgrims, who were in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, heard that Jesus was on His way to the city. In joyful reverence, they cut branches from palm trees and went out to meet Him, fulfilling the word of the prophet Zechariah, when he said, “Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.”
Adoring this Man called “Immanuel, Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God,” (Rev. 1:6-8,) they shouted the declaration of Ps. 118:26, proclaiming Him their Hebrew King, “Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” They were shouting, “Hosanna – save now! Save us, our King. Save us, our Christ.” “Their euphoria was at fever pitch because they expected their messianic hopes to be fulfilled along nationalistic and geographical lines, [not spiritually.]” - [Spirit Filled Bible.]
Then, “Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves [for sacrifice.] And He said to them, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves!” Then the blind and lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them... [So,] they were also crying out in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David, [our Savior King from royal ancestry!’]” (Zech. 9:9; Jn. 12:14; Mt. 21:1-16.)
This, of course, immensely angered the Sanhedrin. Jesus was loved and adored by His people and praised on all levels of life. For at least three years now, they heard Jesus preach the Spiritual Kingdom of God; declaring Himself the Spiritual Savior. They knew He commanded the spiritual rebirth and eternal salvation through faith in Him as the Son of the Most High God, (Jn. 3:3-5.) In order to free the Hebrew nation from spiritual bondage, He knocked loudly on all the closed doors of their temple; questioning the authenticity of their religious lives.
However, today Jesus did the unmentionable. The Sanhedrin witnessed how the people literally crowned Jesus King over them — and then He went directly to the temple to address their money-making schemes, greed, and disobedience to the God of Truth. (Mt. 21:1-16.)
“They were indignant and confronted Jesus, asking, “Do You hear what these people are saying?” And Jesus answered, “Yes, Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise?’” (Ps. 8:2.)
The Sanhedrin then knew, if the people were to turn wholeheartedly to this Savior, rejecting their controlling religion, their financial and spiritual exploitation, and their false Kingdom-Now theology, they would lose their demonic hold on the Hebrew nation. Then they, the religious leaders, would lose their affluent lives, which they derive from the temple, and their positions of authority and honor among the people.
“The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, ‘You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the [whole] world has gone after Him!’” - Jn. 12:19.
This is where the Jewish Sanhedrin decided to murder Jesus.
Even more abysmal, in a very short space of time, they influenced nearly the entire Hebrew nation to participate in the wicked slaying of their own and only Savior, the Son of the Living God.
The One True God, Whom they have just glorified, and crowned King over them.