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The Mountain of the House of the LORD

An easy way to understand the kingdom of God in prophecy and fulfillment is to consider the second chapters of four different books of the Bible: Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, and Acts.  In particular, the passages are: Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:24-45; Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:14-36.  These four passages establish what the kingdom is and the timeframe in which the kingdom would be founded.

 

Let us begin with Isaiah 2:2-4.  This passage describes “the mountain of the house of the LORD.”  Students of the Bible will know that this is a reference to Zion, the hill upon which the temple of God was built.

However, it must be understood that the mountain here is used as a figure and does not describe the literal land in Palestine.  A mountain is sometimes used in Scripture to represent a kingdom or power rather than a geographical feature (consider that Babylon is called a “destroying mountain” in Jer. 51:25).  This is the case in the book of Isaiah, where the mountain of Zion is used often as a figure for the domain of God.

 

Regarding this mountain, Isaiah revealed his vision of events that would happen in “the last days” (this establishes a timeframe that we will further consider below).  These events are: 1) the mountain would be established above all other mountains; 2) all nations would come to the mountain to learn the word of God that would come forth from it; and 3) the nations would enjoy peace in the mountain.  Therefore, the kingdom that would be established in the last days would be greater than all other kingdoms, the source from which the word of God would issue, and the place of peace for all nationalities of people.

 

Now consider Daniel 2:24-45.  Daniel gave King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon the interpretation of a dream that God had showed him.  In this dream, the king had seen a statue with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay.  This statue was crushed by a stone so that the statue was completely annihilated.  Then, the stone that struck the statue became a “great mountain and filled the whole earth.”  In the interpretation, Daniel explained that the elements of the statue and the stone that crushed it all represented various kingdoms.  The head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar’s kingdom, Babylon, which was the first world empire.  The other elements of the statue represented the succeeding kingdoms, which history tells us were the Medo-Persians (the silver), Greece (the bronze), and Rome (the iron and clay).

 

The main event of this dream was the crushing of the statue by the stone.  Daniel explained that this represented the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God.  This kingdom would exceed all other kingdoms.  Again, notice the figure of a mountain to represent the kingdom just as in Isaiah 2 (see also Zech. 8:3).  Also, notice the timeframe for the establishment of this kingdom.  Daniel said that this would happen “in the latter days” (v. 28 – compare to Isa. 2:2) and “in the days of those kings,” i.e., during the time of the Roman Empire.  For us, this means that the establishment of the eternal kingdom of God has already happened because the Roman Empire ceased to exist many hundreds of years ago.

 

Finally, consider Joel 2:28-32 together with Acts 2:14-36.  This passage in Acts records Peter’s gospel sermon given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost after Jesus ascended to heaven.  In this sermon, Peter quoted the passage from Joel and said, “This is what was spoken through the prophet Joel.”  Therefore, whatever Joel foretold began to occur on that day in the first century.  The timeframe given by Joel was simply “after this,” but by divine inspiration, Peter gave the timeframe as “in the last days” (compare to Isa. 2:2; Dan. 2:28).  Therefore, the period of the last days was in effect as Peter spoke (during Roman rule).

 

Peter explained that Joel’s prophecy was about the coming of the Holy Spirit and His miraculous acts that would accompany the revelation of the way of salvation.  Then, he went on to explain that Jesus had ascended to the Father and had been seated on the throne of David, where He now rules as Lord and Christ.  Although Peter did not quote it, Joel also mentioned the figure of the mountain.  He wrote, “For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls” (Joel 2:28).  By Peter’s sermon, understand that this deliverance is referring to salvation in the kingdom of God, which comes through Jesus Christ.

 

Stacey E. Durham




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