Paul’s godly dream of the kingdom

Faithful believers are participating in and growing the kingdom.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 – “First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

This passage fascinates me because of the simplicity of its intent. Paul is encouraging Timothy, for himself and for Timothy’s congregation, to remain in an attitude of petition and intercession for the secular leaders of that day. The purpose behind this is so that they would be able to lead a “tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” This is Paul’s godly dream for the people of God, that they would be able to prosper in the grace and peace of the kingdom of God in that day and time. We know it was a godly dream because he immediately adds that “this pleases God our Savior.”

I believe this godly dream of Paul is the ultimate fulfillment of the kingdom of God on the earth. While it may only be hinted at here, it is the theme of the Old Testament, and also the goal of the New.

Zechariah 8:12 – “For they will sow in peace: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the skies will yield their dew. I will give the remnant of this people all these things as an inheritance.”

Isaiah 65:21-23 – “People will build houses and live in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They will not build and others live in them; they will not plant and others eat. For my people’s lives will be like the lifetime of a tree. My chosen ones will fully enjoy the work of their hands. They will not labor without success or bear children destined for disaster, for they will be a people blessed by Yahweh along with their descendants.”

Revelation 22:1-5 – “Then he showed me the river of the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the city’s main street. The tree of life was on each side of the river, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree are for healing the nations, and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Night will be no more; people will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, because Yahweh God will give them light, and they will reign forever and ever.”

In Paul’s admonition to Timothy, he says God “desires all men to be saved, and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” Here are a few representative passages demonstrating how all nations would come and worship before Yahweh.

Isaiah 66:23 – “All mankind will come to worship me from one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another,” says Yahweh.”

Revelation 21:23-26 – “The city [the New Jerusalem] does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never close by day because it will never be night there. They will bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.”

This godly dream is the reality of the kingdom of God come to the earth. It is my belief that through our faithful petitions, intercessions, and righteous examples, we, too, can participate in and grow God’s great plan for the ages, where all men know him and come to him, bringing their glory and honor into the everlasting New Jerusalem.


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Set apart and saved for his purpose

Destiny is a powerful encouragement.

Philippians 2:12-13 – Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work down to finality your own [collective] salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.

As Paul is writing to the congregation at Philippi, he emphasizes their need to be actively engaged in their salvation, but to do so with “fear and trembling.” The idea is that their salvation is so precious and valuable, they should not toy with the idea of who they have been called to be, they should not regard their privileged position as something to be treated lightly. Their mission was to be positive examples of God’s mercy and grace to an entire generation.

Philippians 2:14-16 – Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…

This was a fulfillment of their destiny, the purpose that God had set them apart for from the very beginning. This was the same message Paul and Barnabas shared in the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch with the assembled Jews in that place.

Acts 13:47 – For so Yahweh has commanded us, saying, ‘I have set you to be a light for the nations, that you may bring salvation to the uttermost parts of the earth.'”

This excerpt is from the passage in Isaiah which illustrates the place that God has always set apart for his people.

Isaiah 49:6 – he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved [protected, guarded] ones of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Their salvation was a guarding by God, a protection of them through their trials because he had a larger purpose for them. They were set apart (holy) and protected (saved) for God’s purpose of reaching out to the world through them.

Isaiah 60:1-3 – Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the LORD will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.

All of this rich context from their history demonstrated how this “working out of their salvation” in that first-century generation was a demonstration of God working through them, setting them apart for the very specific purpose that they would be a “light to the nations.” This is why they were to participate in it “with fear and trembling.” The reason the early believers in Messiah were so effective in their generation was because God himself was working among them and through them to bring about the culmination of his plan from the beginning.

As believers in Messiah today, we are inheritors of this legacy of being set apart (holy) and protected (saved) for the same purpose: that God’s glory may be seen throughout the earth. We are saved not just for our own benefit but for his glory! Salvation is not about us, it’s about God! Let us participate with the same sense of fear and trembling, a reverence and awe for our called-out destiny that we may fulfill it faithfully and successfully in every generation for him.



If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive at https://core-of-the-bible.simplecast.com/ or your favorite podcast streaming service.

Now also on YouTube! Just getting started, but new videos will be added regularly on many different topics, find us at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvR_aNEyA7WEZJtF4B8fZ6g

Questions or comments? Feel free to email me directly at coreofthebible@gmail.com.