The Prophesied Kingdom — Part One
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player

The Prophesied Kingdom — Part One

In Genesis, God formed a covenant relationship with Abraham which He then modeled throughout the Old Testament. As Alistair Begg points out, however, the Israelites disbelieved God’s promises to Abraham. In response, God raised up the prophets to remind the people of His judgment and to be His mouthpieces. Like us, Israel needed to be made fully aware of its sin in order to look forward to the perfect fulfillment of God’s promise in Christ.

Series Containing This Sermon

The Kingdom of God, Volume 1

Genesis 1:1 – Malachi 4:6 Series ID: 26801

Sermon Transcript: Print

We’re going to read from the Bible in the Old Testament, in Isaiah chapter 2, and we’re going to read from the first verse. Isaiah 2:1:

“This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
“In the last days
the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
   as chief among the mountains;
it will be raised above the hills,
   and all nations will stream to it.
“Many peoples will come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
   to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
   so that we may walk in his paths.’
The law will go out from Zion,
   the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations
   and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
   and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
   nor will they train for war anymore.
Come, O house of Jacob,
   let us walk in the light of the Lord.
You have abandoned your people,
   the house of Jacob.
They are full of superstitions from the East;
   they practice divination like the Philistines
   and clasp hands with pagans.
Their land is full of silver and gold;
   there is no end to their treasures.
Their land is full of horses;
   there is no end to [the] chariots.
Their land is full of idols;
   they bow down to the work of their hands,
   to what their fingers have made.
So man will be brought low
   and mankind humbled—
   do not forgive them.
Go into the rocks,
hide in the ground
from [the] dread of the Lord
   and the splendor of his majesty!
The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled
   and the pride of men brought low;
the Lord alone will be exalted in that day.”

Amen. Thanks be to God for his Word.

            Some weeks ago, now, in the evening, we began a journey as a church, trying to get for ourselves an overview of the main story line of the Bible. And in order to do this, we have departed from our normal procedure—gone into a less-than-comfortable zone for me, insofar as I do not have a set text before me, the way that I like to do, to work through a passage of Scripture on a consistent and continual basis. But because we believe the purpose is significant enough, here we are, trying to fulfill our objective.

Many of us know parts of the Bible. We are able to speak concerning certain stories in the Bible that are precious and important to us. But if anybody were to ask us, “What is really the significance of the story of David and Goliath as it fits within the great framework of the Bible?” Or “Why do we have this story of Gideon going down to three hundred people? How does that fit within the great scheme of God’s redemptive plan from all of eternity?” I think that many of us, if we were honest, would have to say, “Sorry, but I haven’t got a clue.” And it’s because of that that we are trying to use a particular key to get us through this story, and the key that we’re using is the kingdom of God. We’re using a phrase that is frequent in the New Testament, absent in the Old, but although the phrase itself is absent in the Old, the concept is there in all of its fullness. And the definition that we’ve used is, as you have it in the screen in front of you, going from top to bottom, that the kingdom of God is the story of God’s people in God’s place living under God’s rule and blessing.[1] And we saw that right from the very beginning, in creation, the pattern of that kingdom was established: Adam and Eve, the people of God, in the garden, the place of God, speaking with God, enjoying a relationship with God, and living under his blessing—and that all before man turns from God in rebellion. Then we discover that the kingdom was spoiled, spoiled as a result of man’s disobedience—a disobedience which did not only have an immediate impact on Adam and Eve in that moment in history, but has had an impact ever since, inasmuch as in Adam all die, and the dust of death has settled over humanity and over the whole order of creation.

God in judgment always exercises mercy.

And so, there you have it: the kingdom spoiled. Who are the people of God? Well, there’s no one there; they’re driven out. Where are they? Well, they’re no longer in the garden; they’re banished, and they are living in disobedience and living under God’s curse. But as we saw, God in judgment always exercises mercy.  And he came, first of all, in Noah, raising him up, who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord,”[2] preaching to the people, “Come on, you don’t need to live under his wrath. You don’t need to face his judgment. Come and get in this ark, which God has provided as a way of salvation and a way of escape.” And then on top of that, he comes and picks up a pagan by the name of Abraham, and he endorses Abraham and establishes him, and Abraham is known as the “friend of God” because he believes God, he takes him at his word, he discovers all that righteousness means. And in his great love, God promises, then, to put things right, and he promises to reestablish his kingdom. And that’s the great story that is there at the beginning of Genesis 12. Those of us who have been going through these studies have Genesis 12:1–3 pretty well anchored in the corner of our heads—at least I hope we do—because, if someone were to ask us, I hope we would be able to tell them that the rest of the Bible—the rest of the Bible—is actually the story of how God fulfills that promise to Abraham and his descendants. That’s the story of the rest of the Bible. What is God doing from that point in Genesis 12 all the way through to the great consummation in Revelation? He is keeping the promise that he has made to Abraham—a promise that was made in time but was rooted in eternity, as Ephesians 1 tells us, that God was “working everything out according to the eternal counsel of his will.”[3] And that, of course, is something that is quite immense, and really, it makes it difficult for us to get our hearts around it.

The promises, then, that God makes to the nation of Israel, we have discovered, have been partially fulfilled—partially fulfilled—in the Old Testament. And we’re looking forward to the time when they will be perfectly fulfilled in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. And it was in our last few studies that we spent time, over a period of a thousand years—not many of us realize we went through a thousand years, but we did—and we covered a thousand years. Actually, some of us felt like we went through two thousand years. But anyway, we got through it, marginally, and we left the people of God in Psalm 137 by the rivers of Babylon, hanging their harps on the willow trees and saying, “This is impossible. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”[4] They were, at that point, a sorry lot. They had enjoyed a great deal, they had experienced the exodus, they’d been brought into the promised land, they had refused the word of God that had come to them, and God’s judgment had been executed upon them. And if we had found them there in that context, sitting around on that particular riverbank, there would have been little evidence that they were God’s people. It would have been clear to us that they were not in God’s place, and it would have been perfectly obvious that they were living under God’s judgment upon their disobedience.

So they were a sorry lot, and they refused to pay attention to what they were told. The warnings that had come again and again they had rejected. “If you don’t carefully follow the words of the law,” Moses had said, “then this will happen to you.”[5] They just disregarded it. And quite dramatically, “It will please [the Lord] to … destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess,”[6] and they said to one another, “This isn’t going to happen. God won’t do that. After all, he made this great promise to Abraham. Surely he’s not going to do that.” And they were complacent.

The exodus from Egypt is nothing compared to the new exodus brought about by the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus on the cross.

Now, in this era of partial fulfillment, we highlighted it by noticing three things: that while the exodus was terrific—the story of their liberation from Egypt—that exodus is nothing compared to the new exodus brought about by the shedding of the blood of the Lord Jesus on the cross, whereby he redeems men and women not from the bondage of Egypt, but from the bondage of our own sinful hearts.  

We also saw that there is a huge discrepancy between the tabernacle and the incarnation. God comes and he says, “I want you to create this tabernacle, and that will be the place in which I dwell. That will be the symbol of my presence.” And so they move that tabernacle with great care. They kept it in the tent of meeting, you will remember. And when finally the temple was built, that ark was there, symbolizing the presence of God. But then you come across the great divide into the New Testament, and the Gospel of John begins and makes this striking statement: “And the Word became flesh, and ‘tabernacled’ among us, dwelled among us.”[7] And the people of God understood, “Oh, in the same way that the presence of God was symbolized, looking back over our shoulders, now the presence of God is realized in Jesus Christ, his Son.”

As good as David and Solomon were as kings, they were not to be compared with the King of Kings.

And thirdly, we noted that as good as David and Solomon were as kings, they were not to be compared with the King of Kings , the one who was going to come as great David’s greater son.

Now, what I said last time I want to remind you of now, and that is that within the Bible as a whole—within the whole story of the Bible—the history of Israel serves as a model. The partial kingdom is a shadow of the perfect kingdom that God will establish through Jesus Christ. All right? And that’s why there you have before you on the screen these very obvious incidents that make that point clear. God’s plan is not to rebuild the model, but it is to establish the real thing through Jesus—not to rebuild the model but to establish the real thing through Jesus.

I don’t know whether you built models planes as a boy. I did. It rained so much in Glasgow on Saturday afternoons that eventually I would take my pocket money and buy World War I and World War II planes, and I would put them together and build them. It was usually more glue than plane by the time I was finished, and the decals never went on straight—they were a sorry thing—but I put them on my shelf, and I looked at them. Now, if someone had said, “You can fly in a P-51 if you meet me on such-and-such an airport,” I said, “Wow, you mean I can experience the reality rather than just look at the model?” Said, “Yes, you can.” I’d be a strange person if I said, “No, I just like looking at the model.” I want to experience the reality.

God is not about the business of rebuilding the model; he is about the business of establishing the reality to which the model points, in and through the person of his Son.

So when you read your Bible—for example, when you read Isaiah chapter 2… and I’m sure there were all kinds of bells going off in your head as I read Isaiah 2. And the bells were like these: “I wonder how this applies to us? I wonder if this description of a land full of chariots and a land full of idols is a description of America?” No. “I wonder how this fits within there and that and so and everything else?” Unless we understand that God’s plan is not to rebuild the model, but is to establish the real thing, then we will get completely lost at this point in the story, and we’ll never, ever get back on track again. And I want to suggest to you that a number of us are dreadfully lost in the story, and we’re unable to make sense of the Bible as it finally unfolds and ends in Revelation. We make a complete nonsense of Revelation because we don’t understand this principle: that God is not about the business of rebuilding the model; he is about the business of establishing the reality to which the model points, in and through the person of his Son.  

The Prophets’ Role

Now, that is why, when the prophets step onto the stage of human history—and now we’re at the Prophets—they arrive… And there are seventeen Prophetic Books. You can look that up in the index of your Bible. They’re known, we refer to them, as the Major Prophets—like Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel—and the Minor Prophets—Haggai and Habakkuk and the wee ones. Incidentally, they’re Minor Prophets not because their message is any less significant, but because of the length of their prophecies, and that’s how we make the designation. The Major ones are the longer ones, and the Minor ones are the shorter ones—just in case any of you were feeling sorry for Habakkuk, or “Huh-BA-kuk,” as I must now learn how to say it.

The role of the prophet was essentially twofold: number one, to speak God’s word—to speak God’s word. When you read the Prophetic Books, you will discover that, almost without exception, they make this point early on—that the word of God was coming to the person, and then the person was speaking after the word of God had come. Incidentally, you find that in John the Baptist, don’t you? The word of the Lord came to John in the wilderness, and then—the Word of the Lord having come to John—then he preached. And this, of course, is the prophetic model. Jeremiah 1, you have the same thing: “The word of the Lord came to me, saying…”[8] Jeremiah was not simply voicing his opinions. He was not pontificating on the circumstances of his day. He was not, as a result of having a sour attitude about things, simply weeping and moaning and groaning over the predicament of the people. No, the word of God came to him, and then he had the awesome responsibility of then being the very mouthpiece of God’s word. That’s why in our early studies we noted that while the Bible has one author—ultimately, God—it has, if you like, dual authorship insofar as God raises up real individuals at a real moment in history with real personalities and real backgrounds in order that, speaking realistically and personally, they may actually speak the very word of God. It’s a phenomenal mystery. Peter addresses it in 2 Peter 1 when he says, “Prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”[9]

God comes and puts his word into the mouths of his prophets, and then his prophets stand up, not to say what they have in mind but to declare what God says.

Now, interestingly… and I hate to take you back to the second book of the Bible. You’ll think we’re going back to Egypt; we’re not. Exodus chapter 4. I’m not going to turn you to a lot of references, but look at this, because I think that the relationship between Moses and Aaron provides us with as good a definition of the role of a prophet as any. You remember, God comes to Moses and says, “I want you to go to Pharaoh and say, ‘Let my people go.’” Moses says, “Well, I would be most grateful if you would send someone else.”[10] And just when we’re thinking, “I can’t believe you said that, Moses,” you ought to say, “I can’t believe I just said that to Moses.” Any takers for the role of going to the sovereign potentate of Egypt, who has held the people of God enslaved for all this time, knocking on his front door, going up and saying, “Excuse me, Pharaoh, I’m here this morning to say that God says, ‘Let my people go,’” with the distinct possibility that Pharaoh may say, “How about, Moses, I let your head go—without the rest of your body?” So Moses said, verse 13, “Lord, please send someone else to do it.” Verse 14: “Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, ‘What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. [He’s] already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth.’”[11] Isn’t that interesting? “You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth.” Graphic picture. “‘I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth.’”[12] Now, that little phrase there is crucial: “It will be as if he were your mouth.” In other words, Aaron would be fulfilling, if you like, the prophetic role. The word is Moses’, Moses puts his words into Aaron’s mouth, and then Aaron stands up and says what has been put into his mouth. Now, that is the picture of the prophet’s role: God comes and puts his word into the mouths of his prophets, and then his prophets stand up, not to say what they have in mind but to declare what God says. 

And in doing so, in speaking God’s word, they are enforcing God’s covenant—enforcing his covenant. Moses was, if you like, the definitive prophet. God revealed his law to Moses at Sinai, and all the subsequent generations were to live in light of that covenant. If they wanted to be in God’s place, if they wanted to enjoy God’s blessing, then they must obey God’s rule, and Moses told them, “If you fail to do this, God will come and banish you and punish you.”[13] And the prophets that you read of—Isaiah, Jeremiah, and so on, Ezekiel, Amos, Habakkuk, all of these individuals—they are then ushered onto the stage of human history, succeeding Moses and enforcing the covenant. And in many ways, they’re very repetitive. That’s why when you read the Prophetic Books you say, “But didn’t he just say that a few chapters ago?” The answer is yes. Why does he keep saying it? Because he needs to!

In the same way that, at a very less significant level, our teachers had to say the same thing to us again and again and again. If someone is teaching you in any realm at all—teaching you a sport, teaching you how to approach a golf ball, teaching you how to swing a tennis racquet—isn’t it true that every time you show up, they’ll start you back at the beginning again, almost without exception? You want to show up and smash your tennis serves and show them how strong and powerful you are; they want you simply to knock balls back over the net. You want to show them this gigantic driver that you just got, the size of a shovel head, and you want to show them how amazing it is you can do it; they want you to hit pitching wedges with a very small arc to the swing. Why? To get it ingrained in you.

And the prophets have that responsibility: to enforce the covenant of God. “Listen,” they say to the people. “Obey God and obey his law, and you will be blessed. Fail to do so, and you will be cursed.” And they do so, many times, at great personal expense. Elijah, in 1 Kings 19, which I am going to assign to you as your homework portion—I don’t know how many of you ever do your homework, and I never check, so it’s really a futile exercise to even mention it. But for those of you who feel any responsibility, you go and read 1 Kings 19 and the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal, and see what it cost Elijah there to stand out against the tide. Here all of the majority, all of the power, all of the influence is apparently in the prophets of Baal. They are the ones that are making a great show of things. They are the ones that have a terrific drama going on. Anybody coming by and seeing the sorry scene would say, “Oh, the only person to go with in this context is—you want to go with a winner? Go with the prophets of Baal. I mean, look at them! They’ve got everything going for them. Elijah? He’s just over here. I don’t know what he’s doing. He just stands there by himself, he just keeps saying the same thing. I would go with the big group, if I were you. I mean, can 450 prophets be wrong?”

And Elijah has a daunting task. He has a lonely row. And he, along with Jeremiah and Amos, is a special individual. As a prophet, he’s not asking whether the people agree with him. He doesn’t have many human allies. At one point, he feels as though he has no human allies. He says, “I apparently am the only person left here.”[14] God tells him, “There are still seven thousand that have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[15] It seems like a lot—except when you consider it in the vastness of the population. And yet he stands his ground. He’s adamant. He’s convinced. He is prepared to take it on the chin if needs be. Everybody loves that kind of leadership: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”[16] Everybody recognizes the tremendous commitment in leadership and conviction and being prepared to stand alone that is represented in a tide of compromise and appeasement. And Elijah, exercising his prophetic role in his day, stands up, as it were, on the great ramparts of history and calls to the people.

The Prophets’ Message

Now, if somebody were to say, “Well, what are the dominant themes, then, in the Prophets? If what they’re doing is speaking God’s word and enforcing God’s covenant, what is it that they’re saying?” They’re saying two things: number one, they’re saying, “Look out, judgment’s coming.” “Look out, judgment’s coming.” Now, who likes to say that? That’s not an easy task, is it? But when you read the Prophetic Books, you find that huge chunks of them are given to announcing the sin of the people and announcing that God is going to judge that sin. Who wants that job?

That’s why the false prophets were legion. If you could be a false prophet, then you had sort of the best of both worlds. You were known as a prophet, you could go around and make these great statements, and the wonderful thing was, you could tell people what they wanted to hear. For example, Jeremiah 8:11—you needn’t turn to it—he says concerning the false prophets, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.” That’s what the false prophet does. It’s like a bad doctor. Imagine you’ve got gangrene. You go to the doctor, the doctor says, “Well, let me just put a nice bandage on that, and, you know, I have a sticker for you—and a pencil! Have a nice afternoon.” That’s unacceptable. But that’s what the false prophet says: “Don’t worry. It’s fine. You’re going to be fine. In fact, you’re all fine!”

It’s the average commencement speaker’s lies: “You are the greatest group of young people that this community has ever seen. The future is in your hands. You’re ready to soar and become—” No, they’re all sleeping with their boyfriends, they’re throwing beer cans all over the community, they know they’re a right sense of vagabonds and rascals. They would love for somebody to stand up and say, “I know what you guys are like. And you know what? I’ve got good news for you. Everything that you desire to fill your empty hearts is going to bring you down, but I have got the best news for you. I’ve got to tell you, you have a major problem. I’m not going to tell you you’re the finest and you’re the greatest, because you know you’re not, and God knows you’re not, and you know that I am full of baloney if I tell you that you are.” Oh, I think we can go to six services in the Chagrin Valley with a few bandages and a “What a lovely group of people you are.”

You see, if you knew what I was really like, you would never listen to me preach. And if I knew what you were like, I’d never preach to you. Now, see, that has a sort of prophetic edge to it, doesn’t it? Some of you are squirming like this in your seat. “Who does he think he is?” I think I’m absolutely nobody. In fact, the Bible tells me that I am not anything. I am not even something; I am nothing. “The one who plants and the one who waters is not anything, but only God who makes things grow.”[17] Huh?

So, the role of the prophet in speaking judgment is not Jeremiah or Ezekiel or Isaiah arrogating to themselves a posture and a platform that they, by dint of their own life, have never earned nor deserved. It is simply them under the constraints of God, who puts his word into their mouths and says, “Say what I told you.” And that is what happens when the Bible is truly preached: that God comes to the preacher, and he says, “Put this in your mouth and say it. Don’t be afraid of people’s faces. Don’t be concerned if you’re the only person left. Go ahead. Say it.” But the false prophet says, “‘Peace, peace’ … when there is no peace.”[18] And they’re not even ashamed of their conduct.

God hasn’t changed. He’s infinite in his love, he’s perfect in his holiness, and the judgment on his people in the Old Testament should warn us against complacency.

You see, the people were complacent, and God acted in judgment. The Assyrians came, the eighth century, come trampling in with their horses. The sixth century, the Babylonians come in, haul them all away into exile. And the prophets say, “That’s what we said. That’s what we told you. But,” they said, “you shouldn’t think for a moment that because the Babylonians have trounced you that the Babylonian gods are stronger than the God of Yahweh. No, it’s not that. God is still in control. He is so much in control that he has used the gods of the Babylonians to carry out the judgment that he has promised.” God hasn’t changed. He’s infinite in his love, he’s perfect in his holiness, and the judgment on his people in the Old Testament should warn us against complacency. 

Is there any point where we, the people of God, will stand up in every rightful, legitimate way and say that we must protest the whole notion of same-sex marriage—not because it is our agenda, but because it flies in the face of God’s created order? Because it is anti-God? Because it is anti-human? Because it strikes at the very central issue of how society is ordered and structured? Where is the prophetic voice in the pulpits of our land? Don’t you think we’re badly in need of it, that we might ask God for it—the individuals who are prepared to challenge a culture that has gone wrong, not on the basis of their own personality or supposed influence, but on the basis of God’s Word, in submission to God’s Spirit?

One of my friends just sent a letter this past week saying that they had visited a megachurch somewhere here in the States. There were nine thousand people at the 11 a.m. service. I guess I’m a little envious of that, I must be honest. And then they wrote, “This was my first experience of a megachurch,” and they described all the mega-things, and then the person said, “Tragically, about the only thing that wasn’t ‘mega’ about this particular church was the preaching. The pastor spoke for half an hour on parenting, exhorting parents to bring up their children to ‘soar like eagles,’ referring to the Bible fleetingly. It provided me with a powerful reminder of the importance of teaching specifics from the Word of God, not vague generalities. I wonder how big the crowd would be if the pastor were preaching more biblical sermons?”

Now, the challenge in this is not to try and get the crowd as small as you can. That would be perverse, wouldn’t it? “Oh, we got way too many people here. I can’t be preaching the Bible at all. Look at this!” And there will be people who come and say the same thing: “Begg has lost it. I mean, there’s too many people going there. He can’t be teaching the Bible. I mean, if he were teaching the Bible, these people wouldn’t be there.” So I don’t want to take the high ground in relationship to that. I’m not endorsing my friend’s comment, because, you know, every finger you point, there are a number pointing back at you, and we daren’t evade the challenge. And, after all, “Judgment begins at the house of God,”[19] doesn’t it?

Hope in the Face of Judgment

Let me finish with another word, because some of you are pressed back in your seats. They didn’t simply say, “You know, judgment is coming,” but they said, “There’s a wonderful future for you. God has guaranteed his commitment to his people. He will work his purposes out.” That’s where we began our worship: “O Father, you are sovereign in all the world you’ve made.” And so the prophets were saying, “Remember the good old days? Remember David and Solomon? Well, it’s going to be like that again, only much better.” “It’s going to be like that again, only much better.” You see, where is there hope in the face of judgment? Where is there hope in the face of judgment? The only hope in the face of judgment, the only place that we can hide: there is no refuge from God, but there is refuge in God.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From [your] riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from [your] guilt and power.[20]
We’re moving to a day when we will stand before the bar of God’s judgment. Judgment is inevitable. [AM7]

Because we’re moving to a final great examination. We’re moving to a day when we will stand before the bar of God’s judgment. Judgment is inevitable.  God, in the cross, has brought forward judgment into time in order that those who trust in Christ may not fear the judgment in the eternal implications of it. But what will we say on that day? What will we plead on that day? For those of you who are here this morning and you say, “I’ve got nothing to say in face of God’s judgment. I mean, if God is going to judge me, I’m busted. I mean, there’s nothing I can say. I haven’t done enough good things to outweigh the bad things I’ve done. Anybody knows that. My mother knows that, my goodness, my wife knows that, everybody knows that. What am I supposed to say?” Well, what’s the answer? Where’s the whole thing pointing? To Jesus. See,

My only hope is you, Jesus,
My only hope is you,
From early in the morning to late at night.[21]

Is that your hope? 

Let’s pray together:

Father, thank you for the Bible. We want desperately to be able to understand it. Save us from error. Help us as we think these issues through to get them right. For those of us who are fiddling around with sin and have grown complacent, saying, “Oh, God’ll never do that,” may the recollection of your intervention in the lives of your people cause us to take a long, hard look at where we are and what we’re doing. For those of us who feel so pressed down and burdened and unable to alter our circumstances, may we turn our gaze towards the Lord Jesus and find that by his death upon the cross he bore our sin, bore the judgment of God, in order that we, hiding in him, may find our hope and our life and all that we need. We pray this in your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.

[1] Graeme Goldsworthy, Gospel and Kingdom: A Christian Interpretation of the Old Testament (Exeter: The Paternoster Press, 1981), 47.

[2] Genesis 6:8 (KJV).

[3] Ephesians 1:11 (paraphrased).

[4] Psalm 137:4 (paraphrased).

[5] Deuteronomy 28:58 (paraphrased).

[6] Deuteronomy 28:63 (NIV 1984).

[7] John 1:14 (paraphrased).

[8] Jeremiah 1:4 (NIV 1984).

[9] 2 Peter 1:21 (NIV 1984).

[10] Exodus 4:10–13 (paraphrased).

[11] Exodus 4:14–15 (NIV 1984).

[12] Exodus 4:15–16 (NIV 1984).

[13] Deuteronomy 28:15 (paraphrased).

[14] 1 Kings 19:14 (paraphrased).

[15] 1 Kings 19:18 (paraphrased).

[16] Ronald Reagan, “Berlin Wall Speech” (speech, Berlin, Germany, June 12, 1987).

[17] 1 Corinthians 3:7 (paraphrased).

[18] Jeremiah 8:11 (NIV 1984).

[19] 1 Peter 4:17 (paraphrased).

[20] Augustus Toplady, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me” (1776).

[21] Keith Lancaster, “My Only Hope Is You” (2005).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.