Page 182 - Church of God Publications

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172 THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
from ancient Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, whose name was
changed to Israel. He was the father of the nation Israel. Before
the twins were born, God said to their mother, Rebekah, "Two
nations
are iR thy womb ..."(Gen. 25:23).
Now Jesus the Messiah was to come as "the messenger of the
COVENANT." The "old covenant" had established the human chil–
dren of Israel as a NATION or KINGDOM of
humans,
called the
KINGDOM OF IsRAEL. Jesus carne as the messenger- heralding the
message of the NEW covenant that shall set up the Spirit-com–
posed children ofGoo as the Kingdom ofGod!
As the ancient kingdom ofisrael was composed ofthe human
FAMILY ofthe human man Israel, so the Kingdom ofGod will be
composed ofthe
Divine
Family ofthe Divine God!
And what does this have to do with life after death?
It
has
everything
to do with it!
WHY Jewish Rulers Rejected the
Message
The Jewish rulers of Jesus' day thought He was proclaiming a
government to be set up immediately - to overthrow the Roman
Empire, then ruling Judea as a vassal state.
One of these prominent Jews was a man named Nicodemus;
mentioned earlier. He was a Pharisee, and the Pharisees were hos–
tile to Jesus because of this new gospel. Nicodemus, however,
wanted to meet this astonishing messenger and discuss it with
him. To avoid criticism from his colleagues, he carne to Jesus by
night.
"We know," he said, "that you are a teacher come from
God."
The "we" implies that the divine identity of the messenger
and the source of His message was known to the Pharisees. But
they were "Now" people, concerned with protecting their status as
rulers under the Roman government, not with receiving revela–
tions from God.
Jesus perceived the import of Nicodemus's first words. His
message was the good news of the coming WORLD GOVERNMENT
of Goo - that is, the KrNGDOM OF Goo, which shall rule all na–
tions with the GOVERNMENT of God.
These Jewish rulers feared that message. Jesus was of their