THY KINGDOM COME
Matt. 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
The coming of the kingdom of God has been a subject of much speculation through the centuries. Most have viewed it as some sort of political worldwide empire.
Kingdoms of this world must be created and maintained by force. Therefore, many expect the kingdom of God to also be established by force. However, Jesus said,
“My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight…” (John 18:36).
When Peter tried to use force, “Jesus said unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword”. (Matt 26:52)
The prophets foretold the Kingdom. The Jews interpreted this to be an earthly kingdom. They sought to make Jesus King by force (John 6:15; Mat 11:12). When he refused, they turned on him and shouted, “crucify him. Pilate said unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:15).
The Jews still reject him for the same reason. I once asked a rabbi why Jesus could not be the messiah. He responded, “Because he did not set up his kingdom.”
Unfortunately, the Jews are not the only ones who have fallen into this trap. Through the Middle Ages the rising temporal power of the Roman church began to be viewed as God’s kingdom on earth. The result was the incredible arrogance and tyranny of the Papacy. However, Christ did not come and their imperial dreams eventually crumbled.
Today, a large segment of the Christ-professing world still has their hopes pinned on an earthly kingdom with Christ sitting on a literal throne in Jerusalem ruling over the world with a literal rod of iron. To this, the response of Jesus still stands.
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
This study is to show the overwhelming evidence that Christ’s kingdom came with power on the Day of Pentecost following the resurrection.
God has already “..delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love...” (Col. 1:13-19).
I. THE KINGDOM WAS TO COME WITHIN THE LIFETIME OF THE APOSTLES.
Matthew 16:28 28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Matthew 10:23 23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
Luke 9:27 27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Mark 9:1. “Some of you will not taste death until you see the kingdom of God come with power.”
They saw the kingdom coming with power on the mount of transfiguration (Mark 9:2-8).
In the Gospel accounts of the Transfiguration, nothing is said of them seeing the kingdom come with power.
Luke 9:31 says that on the mount Moses and Elijah were discussing with Jesus his coming death in Jerusalem.
16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
Peter’s account of the transfiguration is often construed to indicate they saw Jesus coming in his kingdom with power but in fact it does not. His account of the event in verse 17 only mentions the Father’s voice coming from glory. Jesus was on earth, not coming with power.
Mark 9:1 “SOME of you will not taste death until you see the kingdom come with power.”
He did not say that none of them would taste death before they saw the kingdom. These words seem suggest that some would taste death. The transfiguration was only six days later and nothing is said of any of the disciples having died by then. Pentecost, following the death of Judas, fits the fulfillment of Jesus’ words.
Long after this Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until they were endued with power.
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. [cf. Isa. 2:3; Ps. 110:2] 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
On Pentecost the Holy Spirit was sent from the throne of Christ with power.
“..he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God: 4 and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, said he, ye heard from me: 5 for...ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence. 6 They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, do you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the father has set within his own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
On Pentecost this power came upon the disciples in Jerusalem.
Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
After this the kingdom of God (of his dear son) was spoken of as being present.
Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
II. THE APOSTLES WERE GIVEN THE KEYS TO OPEN THE KINGDOM
Matt. 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it unto you, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto you, That you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give unto you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
The “church” is here used interchangeably with “kingdom.” Christ is the “rock” upon which the church was built (Mat. 7:24; 1Cor. 3:11; Eph. 2:20; Rom. 9:33; 1Cor. 10:4; 1Pet. 2:8).
Luke 11:52 Jesus denounced the lawyers for taking away the “key of knowledge”
Peter used these “keys” on Pentecost when, filled with the Holy Spirit, he preached the message that Christ is now lord sitting at the right hand of God in fulfillment of the promise to David (Acts 2:29-36). The preaching of repentance and baptism was to loose them from their sins (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-18; John 3:50). There were added to them that day about three thousand souls (Acts 2:47).
The other apostles also used these keys.
Matt. 18:18. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Christ, the rock, or stone rejected by the builders, would crush those who oppose him (Mt. 21:42, 44; 1Cor. 10:1, 2; Ac. 4:11; Rom. 9:33; 1Pe. 2:4, 6, 7, 8). Just as in Daniel 2 the stone crushed the great image, it crushes its enemies and becomes the head of the corner in the great temple of God (Eph. 2:14-22).
III. JESUS WAS TO RECEIVE HIS KINGDOM WHEN HE WENT TO THE FATHER
Daniel 7:13-14. When he came unto the ancient of days he was given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom which would not pass away. (cf. 7:21, 22, 26, 27)
Luke 19:12, 15. The parable of the nobleman shows that he went away to receive his kingdom.
OBJECTION: Verse 11 indicates the kingdom was not to immediately appear. It will appear when he returned to judge his servants and destroy his enemies.
ANSWER: It does not say the kingdom will appear at the beginning of the thousand years. The kingdom is now within us (Luke 17:21) and will appear at the general resurrection and judgment (Rev. 20:12-15).
Acts 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. 34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool. 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Eph. 1:20-23. “..when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in heavenly places, 21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body...”
OBJECTION: The kingdom was to come in the “last days.”
ANSWER: It did. The last days began with John the Baptist.
Dan. 2:28, 44. The kingdom came in the days of the kings of the 4th kingdom – Rome.
Isa. 2:2-3; Mic. 4:1-2 In the last days, all nations flow into the house of God (Mat 28:19; 1Tim 3:15) and the word goes forth from Jerusalem—(Luke 24:46-49).
Heb. 1:2. Christ came in “these last days.”
Ac. 2:16-17. Peter said of the prophecy of Joel about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days, “This is that....”
1Pe. 1:19-20. Jesus was manifested “at the end of times.”
1 John 2:18 “it is the last hour (or time).”
IV. THE THRONE ON WHICH JESUS SAT WHEN HE ASCENDED WAS THE THRONE OF DAVID
Is. 9:6-7; Lk. 1:31-33 cf. Ps. 132:10-11. Jesus was to sit on the throne of David.
Acts 2:29-39. Peter connects the promise of one sitting on his throne with that in Psalms 110:1 which says he was to sit at the right hand of God until everything is put under his feet.
He makes the point that David did not ascend into the heavens. David could not therefore be speaking of himself sitting on the throne. So, the throne of Jesus was the one on which Jesus sat down when he ascended to the father. In view of this promise, it declares that Jesus was exalted to God's right hand, as “both lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
Heb. 1: 2 hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; 3 who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
8 but of the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
Col. 1:13-19. He “..delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us [past tense] into the kingdom of the Son of his love...”
From this we see that when Paul wrote Colossians the kingdom of the son was a present reality. They were already in the kingdom of Christ.
VI. ON HIS THRONE HE IS BOTH PRIEST AND KING.
Zech. 6:1. He was to grow up out of his place and build the temple of Jehovah (cf. Eph. 2:21), (the church -Eph. 1:22-23; 2:15-16). He would bear the glory, and “sit and rule upon his throne; ...a priest upon his throne...”
Hebrews clearly teaches that when he sat down at the right hand of the father he was both priest and king.
Heb 1:3; 10:12. “When he made purification for sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”
Hebrews 1:8. “But of the Son he sayth, thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of thy kingdom...”
Heb. 2:17; 3:1; 4:14-15; 5:1-10; 6:20; 8:1-4. When Hebrews was written Jesus was already a priest “after the order of Melchizedek.”
Heb. 7:1-3. Melchizedek's priesthood combined both the royal and priestly offices in one. Unlike the Levitical priesthood, he was both priest and king. (Heb. 7:11-18; 8:1-4).
Hebrews is quoting Psalm 110:4.
Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Verses 1 and 5 of that chapter he is at the right hand of God. In verse 2, it says the rod of his strength would be sent “out of Zion” (cf. Lk. 24:47-49; Ac. 1:4,8; Is. 2:3).
Psalm 110 is alluded to several times in the New Testament (Mt. 22:44; Lk. 20:42; Ac. 2:33-34; Heb. 1:3,13; 10:12).
Heb. 12:18-29. Summarizing the message of Hebrews, chapter 12 says they had “come unto mount Zion, unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable hosts of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn....” Verse 28 calls this a “kingdom.”
Hebrews 12:28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
1Peter 3:22 says that he is on the right hand of God, “having gone into heaven; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.”
These passages clearly show that at the time they were written, Jesus was ruling his kingdom at the right hand of God as both priest and king.
VII. JESUS IS TO CONTINUE AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD UNTIL DEATH IS DESTROYED
Ps. 110:1. Jesus was to sit at the right hand of God until his enemies were made his footstool. (cf. Matt. 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:43; Acts 2:34-36; Heb. 1:13; 10:13)
1Cor. 15:23-25 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet.”
In verse 26 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:54 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
Death is not destroyed until after the thousand years when the earth has fled away (Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-4). Since Jesus sits at the right hand of the father until death is destroyed, and death is not destroyed until after the thousand years, it is evident that he is not going to sit on an earthly throne during the thousand years.
VIII. THE KINGDOM WAS NOT TO BE A VISIBLE POLITICAL INSTITUTION
John 18:36. “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Are you a king then? Jesus answered, you have said that I am a king. To this end have I been born, and to this end am I come into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.”
Lk. 17:20-21. “And being asked by the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God would come he answered them and said. The kingdom of God comes not with observation: 21 neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Note that “within” (#1787 entos) is the same Greek word as in Mt. 23:26, “within, the cup.” The new covenant is written on our hearts (2Cor. 3:4; Heb. 8:10; Rom. 2:29; 6:17; Eph. 6:5). Christ reigns within us (Eph. 3:17; Col. 1:27).
2Cor. 10:3-6. “..we do not war according to the flesh for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds: 5 casting down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God...”
Eph. 6:10-16. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Thus, as soldiers of Christ’s kingdom, we put on spiritual armor to fight a spiritual battle.
2 Corinthians 4:18 - 5:1 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
IX. BEFORE PENTECOST THE KINGDOM WAS FUTURE BUT AFTERWARDS IT WAS PRESENT
Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven* is at hand.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven* is at hand.
Note: At this time, John was not yet in the kingdom (Mt. 11:11, 12).
Mk. 1:15. Jesus said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God* is at hand.”
Matthew 10:7 [To the disciples] And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven* is at hand.
Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God* is come unto you.
Luke 21:31 [concerning the destruction of Jerusalem] Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God* is nigh.
*Some try to make a distinction between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven. There is absolutely no basis for this. They are clearly the same:
Matthew himself uses both terms for the same situation
Matt 19:23. And Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (cf. Mark 10:25)
(Note: Matthew uses “Kingdom of God four times --Matt 19:24; 12:28; 21:31, 43)
Compare this with the following:
Mark 10:23 How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:24 ...How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Note that all three are speaking of the rich young ruler. Clearly, “kingdom of God” and “kingdom of heaven” are speaking of the same thing.
Between Matthew, Mark and Luke these terms are used interchangeably.
Matthew 3:2 Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mark. 1:15. The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God is at hand.
Matt 11:11 he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Luke 7:28 he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Matt 13:11 it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
Mark 4:11 Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God:
Luke 8:10 Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God:.
Matt. 13:31. Kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed
Mark. 4:30-31. Kingdom of God… is like a grain of mustard seed
Matt. 13:33. Kingdom of heaven is like leaven
Lk. 13:20-21. Kingdom of God is like leaven
Matt. 19:14 Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me: for to such belongeth the kingdom of heaven.
Mark 10:14 Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God.
Luke 18:16 Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for to such belongeth the kingdom of God.
Furthermore, the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of God are the same.
Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Luke 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
1. In the Book of Acts they changed from preaching that the “kingdom is at hand” to preaching the kingdom as a present reality, not thousands of years in the future.
Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.
Acts 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Acts 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.
Acts 28:31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
2. In the Epistles and Revelation they spoke of the Kingdom as present.
Romans 14:17. for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 4:20. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
Col. 1:13-19. “..delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love...”
From this we see two important things. First, they were then in the kingdom, and secondly, this is the kingdom of the son.
Eph. 2:14-22. The body of Christ (The Church -Eph. 1:22-23; 5:30-32; Col. 1:24; 1Cor. 12:27, 28) is here spoken of as being “a holy temple of the Lord” and the members are called, “citizens.”
II Co. 5:20. The apostles were “ambassadors” of the kingdom.
1Pe. 2:9-10. “Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession...who in time past were no people, but now are the people of God...”
Rev. 1:6. God. “..made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father;”
Rev. 1:9. John was then a “partaker with you in the tribulation and kingdom...”
Rev. 5:10. People from all nations were “made to be a kingdom and priests and they reign upon earth.”
Note: This was before the Millennium.
X. THE KINGDOM WAS TO BEGIN SMALL AND GROW – AS DID THE CHURCH
Daniel 2:34-35; 44-45.
The kingdom was like a stone, cut out of a mountain without human hands, rolling down the mountain and striking the image on the feet. It would begin in the days of the fourth kingdom (Rome), destroy the image, and grow to fill the whole earth.
Like the head of gold, Babylon was the first kingdom. After it came the Persian, like the silver arms and shoulders. The Greeks of the “bronze age” followed, represented by the belly and thighs of brass. The legs of iron, and the feet of iron and clay mixed, represented the power of the Roman “iron age.” It was in the times of those kings that the God of heaven was to set up a kingdom that would destroy those kingdoms and never pass away. Rome has passed away, therefore the kingdom has already come.
When Jesus ascended and received “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Mat. 28:18), he sent the Holy Spirit to guide into all truth (John 14:26; 16:13-15). His word became the law of his kingdom (Gal 6:2). The kingdom came “with power” and the “little stone,” the kingdom under Jesus, was thus carved out and began to roll.
In time it brought about destruction of the Roman Empire in A.D. 476. The barbarians who invaded Rome developed into ten basic nations of Europe which the Papacy then formed into the Holy Roman Empire during the “dark ages.” But the Romans and barbarians comprising it did not mix well. Eventually, through the printing of the word of God, in the Reformation it began to shatter. It finally came to an end in the time of Napoleon around 1800. Since the kingdom was to be set up in the days of Rome (the fourth kingdom), the coming of the kingdom of heaven that would destroy it could not have been later than this.
Note that the kingdom was to begin small and grow --not come from the heavens with trumpet blasts to suddenly take power over the whole earth.
Mk. 4:30-31. The kingdom begins like a mustard seed, which is small and in time grows into a tree in which the birds of the heavens sit.
Mt. 13:33. The kingdom is like a small bit of yeast placed in dough that in time spreads through the whole loaf.
Mt. 13:44. The kingdom is like a hidden treasure or a pearl of great price, which upon finding, a man sells all to gain. (This is taking place now)
Mt. 13:3-9; 18-23. The kingdom is like seed planted in four kinds of soil. The explanation indicates the kingdom, like that, is now growing.
XI. THE KINGDOM IS NOW GATHERING BOTH GOOD AND BAD
Mt. 13:47. The kingdom is like a net which gathers all kinds, good and bad, which the angels sort at the end of the world. The gathering is now, not in the millennium.
Mt. 13:24-30,36-42. The kingdom is like good seed sowed in a field among which an enemy sowed tares (poisonous seeds that look like wheat). To avoid harming the good seed, it was to be left alone until the harvest.
The sower was Jesus. The field is the world. The good seed are the sons of the kingdom. The tares are the sons of the evil one and the enemy that sowed them is the devil. In the end of the world the angels shall gather the tares and burn them with fire. Thus, the Son of man shall gather out of his kingdom all things that cause stumbling, and them that do iniquity. Then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of their Father. The good seed (sons of the kingdom) and the tares are growing together now. The sorting and casting away is in the end of the world, (Rev. 20:11-15) --after the Millennium.
Note that this is “his kingdom .” It belongs to Christ. We are now sons of the kingdom (I John 3:1-2). Jesus is now reigning in our hearts in the midst of his enemies (Ps. 110:1-4).
XII. WHEN JESUS RETURNS HE WILL TAKE US TO HEAVEN, NOT SET UP AN EARTHLY THRONE.
1Thes. 4:17. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Cor. 15:23. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
2Tim. 4:18. Paul wished to be preserved into his heavenly kingdom.
Ph'p. 3:20. Our citizenship is in heaven.
Heb. 11:16. Those in the hall of faith were looking for a heavenly country.
Lk. 18:22; Mk. 10:21. The rich man was promised to have treasure in heaven.
Lk. 6:23. Their reward was great in heaven.
1Pet. 1:4. Our inheritance is reserved in heaven.
Col. 1:5. Our hope is laid up in the heavens.
II Co. 5:1. We have a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
John 13:31-36. Jesus said that they could not come to where he was going but that they would go there “afterwards.”
John 14:1-3. Jesus was going away to prepare a place for us that where he is we may be also.
John 14:28. Jesus said he was going to the Father (16:5, 28).
Lk. 23:43. Jesus said the thief on the cross would be with him “in paradise.”
II Co .12:2. Paul says paradise is in the third heaven.
Rev. 2:7. We are to eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God after this heaven and earth have passed away.
Matt. 6:10. Did not Jesus teach us to pray for the kingdom to come?
Jesus, under the Old Covenant (or “testament”), gave a model prayer to his disciples. At that time, the Kingdom was “at hand” (Matt. 4:17). That covenant passed away and we now live under the New Covenant (Heb. 8:6, 8, 9, 10). The New Covenant did not come until Jesus died (Heb. 9:15-17). The question is, was Jesus telling them how they should pray under the Old, or under the New Covenant? If the Kingdom of God began with the New Covenant there would be no point in praying for it to come after it came. Of course, this model can be used to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and for the heavenly kingdom (2Tim. 4:18).
2Timothy 4:1. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom”
Does this not place the kingdom at his appearing?
This is speaking of when we go to the “heavenly kingdom.” when he sits as judge of the living and the dead. The Book of Revelation places this after the thousand years (Rev. 20:12-13). This does not conflict with the fact that we are already in the kingdom of the son (Col. 1:13).
Ac. 15:16. Christ is to return and build up his kingdom – the tabernacle of David.
James was citing Amos 9:11-12 to show that the prophets were speaking of how God was then visiting the Gentiles to take out of them a people for his name (15:13-15). The Gentiles are now a part of the people of God (cf. Rom. 9:6; 11:17-21; Gal. 3:29). The church is the temple of the Lord (1Cor. 3:16-17).
Restoration begins when Jesus returns. Ac .3:21 says, “The heavens have received Christ until the times of restoration of all things.”
This says nothing about the restoration of all things being in the Millennium, or that Christ is going to sit on an earthly throne. He must sit at the right hand of the father until all things have been put under his feet (1Cor. 15:25-26).
Thus, Christ must remain in the heavens until the restoration has been completed. The restoration will not be complete until all things have been put under his feet and returned to establish the new heaven and a new earth --after the thousand years. (Rev. 21:1)
After Pentecost, inheriting the kingdom was still future.
1Cor. 15:50. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.”
Matt. 25:31-34. “But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory... Then shall the King say unto them..., Come... inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:...”
The resurrection, gathering of all nations before the throne, sorting out the wicked and inheritance of the kingdom is found in Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-4 after the Millennium.
1Peter 1:4. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you
Furthermore, Inherit the kingdom is not the same as becoming “children of the kingdom” (Mt. 13:38). “Now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be.” Just as a child may live in the house before he inherits it (Gal. 4:1-2), we have been “translated into” the kingdom (Col. 1:13), but inheritance is still future.
Mt. 25:31. If Christ is now sitting on his throne, why does it say that when he gathers the people for judgment, “then shall he sit on the throne of his glory”?
It does not indicate that he was not previously on his throne. It is speaking of the time when he sits to judge. Nothing in this indicates it is in the thousand years. Rev. 20:11-15 indicates the resurrection and judgment of the nations is after the thousand years. Rev. 20:5 says “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”
2Tim. 4:1, 18. His appearing and his kingdom are together. Paul is still awaiting the heavenly kingdom.
Paul was speaking of Jesus’ future appearing, when he would judge the living and the dead (cf. Rev. 20:12). This was speaking of the heavenly kingdom (4:18). “Kingdom of heaven” (basileia toon ouranoon) and “heavenly kingdom” (basileian autou teen epouranion) are not the same thing. “Kingdom of heaven” indicates the source of the kingdom. “Heavenly kingdom” indicates its location. We have been “translated” into the kingdom of the son (Col 1:13) but at the end we will be “caught up” to heaven (1Cor. 15:24; 1Thes. 4:16, 17; 1Pet 1:4).
The kingdom is after the tribulation. Ac. 14:22 “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”
This does not speak of “THE tribulation.” It speaks of “many tribulations.”
Rev. 1:9. At the time John wrote he was a partaker of the tribulation and kingdom.
It appears that Ac. 14:22 is speaking of our entrance into the heavenly kingdom (2Tim. 4:18; 2Pet. 1:11). Nothing is said about the millennium.
2Pe. 1:10-11. The brethren to whom Peter wrote were in the future to be supplied “entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
This refers to the time when we enter the joy of our Lord (Mat 25:21). That is after the thousand years (Rev. 20-21). Nothing is said about the millennium.
Rev. 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
The throne of the Father is not the same as the throne of the Son.
Why not? In his prayer to his father Jesus said,
John 17:10 and all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am glorified in them.
Jesus shares the throne with the Father and we are invited to share his throne. This does not mean the father would be removed from the throne. In fact, Eph. 5:5 indicates the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of God are the same.
Rev. 22:1 And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, 3 And there shall be no curse any more: and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be therein: and his servants shall serve him;
Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
The kingdom of the son and the kingdom of God are used interchangeably.
Matthew 16:28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.
Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.
Mat. 26:29. Did not Jesus say that he would drink the cup with them in his Father's kingdom?
The “Father’s kingdom” also belongs to the son
John 17:10 and all things that are mine are thine, and thine are mine: and I am glorified in them.
Rev. 12:10. When the devil was cast down it says, “Now is come the salvation and the power, and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ.” Why would this be said if the kingdom began on Pentecost?
This is not speaking of the thousand years when the Devil is chained and cast into the bottomless pit (Rev. 20:1-3). This is speaking of the devil cast out of heaven down to earth (12:7-9) making war with the seed of the woman (12:17). Salvation was given on Pentecost (Rom. 16:16; Acts 2:38-40). Christ had all authority after his resurrection (Matt. 28:18).
Dan. 7:27. The kingdom under the whole heaven was to be given to the saints.
Nothing is said about this taking place during the Millennium nor anything about Christ ruling on an earthly throne.
His kingdom does not come with observation (Luke 17:20-21). Christ rules now in the midst of his enemies (Psa. 110:2). The Good News of the kingdom is now spreading through the whole earth (Mat 24:14).
Rev. 11:15, 17.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
17 …thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
Does not this indicate that at this point Jesus begins his reign on earth?
This says nothing about Jesus reigning on an earthly throne or that it is during the Millennium. It does not even say that this is the beginning of Christ’s kingdom. This is the time of victory of the Father and the Son over the kingdoms of this world.
The next verse, Rev.11:18, says, “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
This would better picture what we find in Rev. 20:7-15, AFTER the Millennium.
2Tim. 2:12. “If we suffer with him we will also reign with him”
Rom. 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Does not this indicate our reigning with Christ is future?
This passage suggests that it is speaking of the new heavens and earth AFTER the thousand years.
2Tim 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
We shall reign with Him in the new heaven and earth, after the thousand years when the first heaven and earth have been done away. (cf. Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-3).
Rev. 22:5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Even now we are reigning with Christ.
Eph. 2:5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (cf. Eph. 1:20)
Use of the future does not prove that in no sense are we reigning now.
Rev. 21:7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
It says, “I will be his God and he shall be my son.” However, He is NOW our God and we are NOW his sons.
1John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God…”
Rev. 5:10. “ they shall reign upon the earth.”
Does not this indicate that the place we shall reign is upon the earth?
We reign with Christ even now (Eph. 2:5-6), but in the new earth (Rev. 21:1-2; 22:5) we will reign in a greater sense. It says nothing of this being in the Millennium, nor that Christ's throne will be on this earth.
Rev. 20:4 The martyrs will sit on thrones, reigning with Christ for a thousand years.
This says nothing of Christ sitting on an earthly throne. It seems doubtful that these martyred “souls” were sitting on literal thrones. It does not even say that they were on earth.
The kingdom does not come with observation (Lk. 17:20). It is “within you” (Lk. 17:21). Christ reigns in our hearts and in a limited sense, we are reigning with him right now (Eph. 2:5-6; Col. 1:27). In a greater sense, this can have reference to the martyrs reigning with him in heaven.
Mt. 19:28. Jesus told the apostles, “In the regeneration, when the son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Compare also 1Cor. 6:3. “You shall judge angels.”
There is no evidence these are literal earthly thrones or that this is in the millennium. Now is the time of regeneration (Tit. 3:5). The revelations they gave figuratively judge the twelve tribes of Israel (James 1:1). At the judgment they will be judged by the word given through the apostles (John 12:48; 14:26). Christ will judge the nations from his throne after the thousand years. (Rev. 20:11-15)
Zech. 14:4, 9. Will not Christ’s feet stand on the Mount of Olives?
It speaks of the nations going up to worship at Jerusalem but nothing here indicates Jesus will sit on a literal throne there. Nothing in the passage is identifiable with the events of the thousand years as specified in Revelation 20.
The symbols in the text are drawn from when Israel was required to go to Jerusalem to worship (Ex. 34:23-24; Deut. 16:16). However, Jesus said that would cease (John 4:20-23). Under the New Testament we are not to go to an earthly Jerusalem to worship year by year (John 4:21-24), but to the heavenly Jerusalem (Gal. 4:25-26; Heb. 12:22; Rev. 3:12; 21:2, 10). Likewise, the feast of tabernacles (Zech. 14:16-19) is no longer required (Col. 2:14-17; Gal. 4:10), and the sacrificial system (Zech. 14:21) is done away (Heb. 10:1-6; 9:11-24). We have a new covenant (Heb. 7:12, 22; 8:6-13; 12:14; 2Cor. 3; Gal. 4:24-31). Our new covenant is “heavenly” (Heb. 9:23; 11:16; 12:22).
Jesus now sits on a throne in heaven (Heb. 4:14; 8:1) and will remain there until all things are put under his feet (Acts 2:34-35; 1Cor. 15:25-26; Eph. 1:22; Heb. 2:8).
The questions here are how much of this is symbolic, and when it was to take place. The event begins with Jehovah gathering all the nations against Jerusalem to battle. That sounds like either the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. or the nations coming against the “camp of the saints” in Rev. 20:9. Jerusalem falls and half of the people are carried away into captivity.
It says that, “Jehovah” (14:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc) fights against those nations (14:3) and His feet are said to stand on the Mount of Olives (14:3-4). It splits, half of it moving north and half south, making a great valley running east and west through which they would flee. Then “living waters” would go out of Jerusalem towards the eastern sea and the western sea.
This sounds symbolic like many other such prophecies. Splitting the Mount of Olives literally would not likely leave anyone in Jerusalem alive to flee. Where would literal waters come from in Jerusalem and how would they flow to the eastern and western seas? This “living water” sounds more like symbolic language used of the Gospel flowing out of Jerusalem, through the apostles (Jer. 2:13; John 4:10-15; 7:37-39; Rev. 21:6; 22:17). This may refer to his first coming when he did stand on the Mount of Olives, causing a spiritual cleavage in the nation of Israel and the Gospel flowed east and west (Luke 24:47; Mat 28:19).
This also sounds much like the symbolic “new Jerusalem” (21:2) after the old heaven and earth have passed away (Rev. 21:1) where the “river” flows from the throne of God and the Lamb (Rev. 22:1-2). The mention of “no more curse (Zech 14:11) sounds like Rev. 22:3.
When Jesus ascended to the father and was seated at his right hand he sent the Holy Spirit with power to guide his people. They became a holy nation (1Pet 2:9-10). From then on those who accepted Christ's lordship over their lives came under his reign. They were in the kingdom of the son (Col. 1:13). This much can be established beyond any reasonable doubt.
Unlike earthly kingdoms, this one did not come with observation (Luke 17:20). It does not have someone sitting on a literal throne. No one can say, “Look, there in Jerusalem is the king.” Jesus reigns within us (Luke 17:21). This kingdom is on a higher plain than the purely materialistic kingdoms. The scriptures reveal it to be spiritual.
2 Corinthians 4:18 18 …we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
It appears that many today are making the same mistake as the Jews. They expected a physical kingdom with the messiah coming to make Jerusalem capitol over the whole earth. They wanted to make Jesus king by force but he re refused (John 6:15).
Because he refused a materialistic fulfillment of the prophecies they rejected him. To this day, they say that Jesus cannot be the Messiah because he failed to set up the kingdom. The problem is that they did not have eyes to see its true nature (Matt. 13:10-17).
Unfortunately, much of the Gentile world has fallen into the same error. For two thousand years they have been seeking a materialistic fulfillment and ignoring what has taken place. The Papacy set up a temporal empire and violated the very denial of Jesus that his servants would fight. In so doing, they ultimately fulfilled 2 Thessalonians 2 about the man of sin sitting in the temple of God deceiving the world.
While Romanism sought to establish a material kingdom, others have pushed back fulfillment of Revelation to some future period of seven years “Great Tribulation,” blissfully disregarding the fact that the terrible tribulation of the dark ages overwhelmingly fulfills everything. They make Revelation chapters 2 and 3, written to seven churches then in existence, refer to the last two thousand years which they call the “church age.” They ignore Rev. 4:1 which plainly sets that point as beginning to speak of the things which were to come to pass “hereafter.” They arbitrarily insert a “rapture” of the church into chapter four where there is no hint of any such thing, along with a resurrection which they call the “first” which God placed in Rev. 20:5. They are like a bus load of blind men from Los Angeles, whizzing through the countryside of Iowa heading for New York, still wondering when they are going to get out of California.
I am now in the kingdom of the son (Col. 1:13-19). That kingdom came with power on the day of Pentecost (Lk. 24:49; Ac. 1:8). It will never be shaken (Heb 12:27-28). Soon our king will come to take us to his heavenly kingdom (2Tim 4:18) that he prepared for us and we will reign with him for ever and ever (Dan. 2:44; Luke 1:33). I care nothing of some earthly kingdom.
I am not looking for a kingdom that can be seen (Lk. 17:20-21).
2 Corinthians 4:18 18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.