Did the rejection of Jesus Christ
as the Messiah by some Jews force the almighty Omnipotent God to
postpone His Kingdom? Is the resurrected and glorified Christ sitting on
His throne of glory and reigning over His kingdom NOW - or - does the
Scriptures teach this Christ will come back to this physical earth and
sit on a physical throne in a physical temple in the physical city of
Jerusalem and reign for 1000 literal years?
The Kingdom of God and Christ
According to the Scriptures
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee,
preaching THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, and
saying "The Time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent
ye, and believe the gospel” Full Text: Mark 1:9-15
The Kingdom of God is no small subject. Much of the New Testament is de-
voted to teaching about THE KINGDOM. Volumes have been written about the
Kingdom. Primitive Baptist who have been blessed with an understanding
of THE KINGDOM write many articles teaching the WHO, WHAT, WHEN,
WHERE AND WHY of THE KINGDOM. The subject is
inexhaustible, and I do not have the ability or knowledge to do more
than touch the hem of the garment. But in the few short articles I hope
to write, I will give you a perspective of THE KINGDOM, ACCORDING
TO THE SCRIPTURES, as a converted Premillennialist sees
it. For fifteen years (1960 to 1976), I preached the "Future Thousand
Year Kingdom Theory." And then, by grace, God opened my eyes to the
truth of His Word. I know I will not REVEAL anything new, for there are
NO NEW REVELATIONS being revealed to man outside
the inspired Word of God.
THE "GOSPEL OR GOOD NEWS" ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD WAS THE FIRST
MESSAGE THE JEWS HEARD AFTER WHAT IS BELIEVED A FOUR HUNDRED YEAR PERIOD
OF SILENCE FROM GOD'S PROPHETS. That is the approximate
time between the last writings of the Prophet Malachi in the Old
Testament and the Message of John the Baptist, who was "the forerunner
or Herald of the King," as he came on the scene preaching "Repent ye,
for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt 3:1-2). John the Baptist was
ordained by God while yet in the womb to "go before him (Christ) in the
spirit and power of Elias --- to make ready a people prepared for the
Lord" (Lk. 1:13-17). His message was clear "I am not the Christ -- I am
the voice of one crying in the wilder- ness, Make straight the way of
the Lord -- I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom
ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose
shoe's latchet I am unworthy to unloose. -- And seeing Jesus coming unto
him, he said "BEHOLD THE LAMB OF GOD WHICH TAKETH AWAY THE SIN OF
THE WORLD" (John 1:19-29).
THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM WAS THE FIRST MESSAGE JESUS PREACHED AFTER
HE BEGAN HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY.
Jesus began his earthly ministry
after: First being baptized by John the Baptist (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark
1:9-11); and Second being tempted by the Devil "in all points like as we
are, yet with- out sin" (Matt 4:1-11, Mark 1:12-13, Hebrews 4:15). Jesus
was about thirty years old at the time he was baptized and the Spirit of
God descended upon him and his heavenly Father said "This is my beloved
Son in whom I am well pleased" (Luke 3: 21-23). John the Baptist bare
record, saying "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and
it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize
with water, the same said un- to me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit
descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which shall baptize
with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of
God" (read John 1:19-34)
There are some who teach that Jesus was mistaken when he said (see text)
THE TIME IS FULFILLED, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND
(at hand means nigh or near). There are two (2) Postponed Kingdom
Theories propagated by man. One theory is about a FUTURE THOUSAND
YEAR REIGN OF CHRIST ON EARTH. This one is taught mostly
by "Armenian Dispensationalist" who are also known as "Premillennialist."
Now I am not throwing stones, for I used to be one of these strange
creatures. Their "ideas" about the Kingdom are so "strange" they
honestly can be called "SQUIRRELLY."
However those folks are not the only people out there with strange ideas
about the Kingdom. There is another "POSTPONED KINGDOM THEORY"
propagated by some closer to home who call themselves Primitive Baptist.
They claim that The Kingdom of God was not established until 70 AD. Both
of these so called THEORIES are
"UNSCRIPTURAL" to say the least. Theories are man-made
ideas. Any "idea" that will not hold up under the scrutiny of the
Inspired Word of God soon becomes strange doctrine. I heard one notable
Elder say, "The best way to test an idea is to set it up and shoot some
Scripture at it. If it doesn't stand, you had best leave it alone and
let it die." This is what I hope to do by teaching THE KINGDOM
ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. To paraphrase the late Elder
S. A. Paine concerning false doctrines, "I plan to put these (false
theories) in a bottle, drive the cork so tight they will smother to
death, if indeed there is any life at all in them."
FIRST let's establish some facts according to Scripture (i.e. King James
Version). Please check me out, and let me know if I have erred. The
terms "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" are New Testament terms
and they do not appear in the Old Testament. Jesus said "The Law and The
Prophets (i.e. Old Testament Scriptures) were until John (the Baptist);
since that time the kingdom of God is preached ---" (Luke 16:16). The
word "KINGDOM" appears in the New Testament 158 times in 150 verses,
including the times it appears in the terms "kingdom of heaven" and
"kingdom of God." The Term "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"
appears 33 times in 32 verses - all in the Gospel of Matthew. The term
"KINGDOM OF GOD" appears 70 times in 69 verses; 5
times in 5 verses in the Gospel of Matthew; 15 times in 15 verses in the
Gospel of Mark; 33 times in 32 verses in the Gospel of Luke (the same as
does the Kingdom of Heaven appear in Matthew); 2 times in 2 verses in
John; and 15 times in Acts through Revelation.
The word KINGDOM appears in
the Old Testament 184 times in 166 verses and is used to speak of "many
kingdoms" of various nations. However the New Testament KINGDOM
OF THE MESSIAH is foretold in prophecy many, many times
in "The Law and The Prophets and The Psalms." In the course of this
subject we will look at several of these Old Testament prophesies,
especially those in Isaiah 9:6-7 and Daniel chapters 7 and 9. We will
see that these were all "FULFILLED" in Christ according to God's
sovereign will. Many of the Armenians have confused the
FULFILLMENT OF GOD'S SOVEREIGN WILL concerning these O.T.
prophesies with the "rejection of Christ the King by the natural
unregenerate Jew." Doing this, they have tried to "reconcile" their
confusion with "timely" prophecies about a "natural kingdom in a natural
world." I know, I used to do this, and it was not until God opened my
eyes to SOVEREIGN GRACE did I see His
SOVEREIGN KINGDOM IN CHRIST. God has always been
SOVEREIGN and always will be SOVEREIGN in heaven and on earth - none can
stay his hand. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS GOVERNED BY JESUS THE
CHRIST, THE SOVEREIGN KING.
In the New Testament the word "Kingdom" and the terms "Kingdom of
Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" are often synonymous and interchangeable.
Some have the "strange idea" that they are not, but the Scriptures
proves this true. In our text it says "Now after that John was put in
prison, Jesus came in- to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom
of God." In Matthew 4:12 we read "Now when Jesus had heard that John was
cast into prison, he departed into Galilee --." Matt. 4:17 says "From
that time Jesus began to preach, and to say Repent for the kingdom of
heaven is at hand." These are the exact same events. Matt 4:23 adds,
"And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and
preaching the gospel of the kingdom." A 3rd grade student would
understand that both Matthew and Mark are speaking of the same thing,
but using different terms.
The terms are interchanged in Matthew 19:23-24: Jesus says, "Verily I
say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of
heaven. And again I say unto you, 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." It is obvious that Jesus is talking about the same kingdom, but as
strange as it may be, some preachers go to College to get some professor
to help them to misunderstand this. We could go on and give several more
examples, but I do not believe this point needs further proof.
God does not leave us in darkness to depend upon man's theories or ideas
as to what is the Kingdom of God. GOD TELLS WHAT THE KINGDOM OF
GOD IS! Jesus said "The kingdom of God cometh not with
observation -- for behold the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke
17:20-21). The word "observation" comes from the Greek word "parateresis"
and means "inspection or ocular evidence." This teaches that the
KINGDOM OF GOD can not be seen with the physical eye.
Jesus then says "BEHOLD the kingdom of God is
The word "BEHOLD" (in this case) means to
SEE WITH SPIRITUAL PERCEPTION, just as it does in many
passages, for example I Cor. 15:5 and I John 3:1. The word "WITHIN"
is the Greek word "entos" meaning "INSIDE" you. Paul the Apostle tells
us that "The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; (or that which can be
seen with the eye -) but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy
Ghost" (Rom. 15:17). REMEMBER -- IN THE HOLY GHOST!
Jesus Christ is the personification of the Godhead; the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost; "For in him dwelleth the fullness of the Godhead bodily"
(Col. 2:9), and he is the brightness of God's glory, and the express
image of his person (substance) - see Heb. 1:3. Jesus said to Philip "he
that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). Again in the same
place he said "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of
Truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither
knoweth him, but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in
you. I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU COMFORTLESS: I WILL COME TO YOU"
(John 14:16-18). Remember what John said that God told him about Jesus
Christ? He said "Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and
remaining on him, THE SAME IS HE WHICH BAPTIZETH WITH THE HOLY
GHOST." Before Jesus was crucified he promised his
disciples he would send "another Comforter - which is the Holy Ghost."
When Jesus had, by himself, purged our sins, he ascended back to glory
to be glorified with the glory he had with the Father before the world
was - and He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. God the
Father at that time said to the Son (read this carefully) "Thy throne, O
God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of
thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the OIL OF
GLADNESS above thy fellows" (read Heb. 1:3-13). That
OIL OF GLADNESS speaks of the HOLY SPIRIT
OF TRUTH --THE COMFORTER promised by Jesus - which
HOLY SPIRIT was poured out on the Church (which existed
from the days of John the Baptist) and "THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH
THE HOLY GHOST" TEN DAYS AFTER JESUS ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN ON THE DAY OF
PENTECOST -- PROVING (giving evidence) THAT THE
KINGDOM OF GOD WAS FROM THE "COMING OF THE MESSIAH" -"THE SON OF MAN"
(Daniel 9:24-27 with 7:13-14 & 27) AND THAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
WOULD NEVER END.
Peter said on the day of Pentecost that these things were the
fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies of Joel and David,
"Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God
HATH MADE (past tense) that same Jesus, whom ye have
crucified, both LORD AND CHRIST" (Acts 2:36).
LORD AND KING! MESSIAH! LORD AND THE ANOINTED ONE! HALLELUIAH!!
"The Kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt 10:5-15) "The Kingdom of God is
come nigh unto you" (Luke 10:3-12) Also read Matt 4:17 and Mark 1:14-15.
The Arminian Dispensationalist would have us to believe that when John
the Baptist, Jesus Christ and the Apostles preached "The Kingdom of
Heaven" is at hand, they spoke MAINLY of an
Earthly One Thousand Year Messianic King- dom. BUT when they preached
"The Kingdom of God" is at hand or nigh, they spoke of a Universal
Spiritual Kingdom, which included a "mystical, parenthetical" Church Age
that was required due to the UNEXPECTED rejection
by the Jews of Jesus as King and His offer of the Kingdom of Heaven.
WHAT THEY TEACH IS - The John Darby (Plymouth
Brethren) DISPENSATIONALIST THEORY of 1830, which
was promoted by Darby's convert, C. I. Scofield, a Freemason, in his
Scofield Reference Bible and other books like Chafer's Systematic
THEY TEACH: The Kingdom was announced
as being "at hand"; this consisted of A LEGITIMATE OFFER
to THE NATION OF ISRAEL of the promised earthly
Davidic kingdom; however the JEWISH NATION
rejected their King and the Kingdom; Because the jews rejected Christ,
God postponed the Millennial Kingdom; but it will be instituted on earth
after the return of Christ; The earthly Kingdom, when rejected and
postponed, entered a "MYSTERY FORM" (Matt 13) for
the present age; This Mystery is included in the term Kingdom of God;
The Kingdom of God includes The Parenthetical Church Age which exist
only until the Earthly Kingdom is established; The EARTHLY
KINGDOM OF HEAVEN will be re-announced by a Jewish
remnant of 144,000 at the beginning of THE GREAT TRIBULATION,
(Matt 24) which occurs immediately before the return of Christ; The
Church will then be RAPTURED away from the earth
and go to be with Christ; After which an election of Jews will be sealed
by God to proclaim the GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
- that is the EARTHLY DAVIDIC KINGDOM is about to
be set up; The Millennial Kingdom will then be established as Christ
returns in power and glory and CHRIST WILL REIGN IN A "PHYSICAL"
TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM FOR ONE THOUSAND YEARS.
These teachings are not only SQUIRRELLY, but
blasphemous in the light of scripture when "rightly dividing the word of
truth." In 1976 while in search of the truth concerning man's depravity
and eternal life, my eyes were opened to the doctrines of sovereign
grace. God also opened my eyes to the Truth of His "SOVEREIGN
KINGDOM" in JESUS THE CHRIST.
The two are very much related! Those
who deny the SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD, are for the most
part, the ones who teach that God had to postpone an OFFERED
KINGDOM. They believe that MAN'S WILL
to is greater than GOD'S WILL. They believe that
man must "LET or ALLOW GOD"
to do His will. They say "God wants" to save you if you will just
LET or ALLOW him to do so. This
Vain Philosophy is the root cause for their misunderstanding so many
The Arminian, dispensationalist, postponed kingdom theory can not stand
in the light of a sovereign God who doeth according to His will in the
army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can
stay His hand, or say unto Him, What doest thou? This theory fails in
the light of a sovereign God Who hath CHOSEN US
and PREDESTINATED US "according to the good
pleasure of his will; according to the purpose of Him who worketh all
things after the counsel of his own will; according to the eternal
purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord - that He might make
known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had
afore prepared unto glory, even us, whom He hath called, NOT OF
THE JEWS ONLY, BUT ALSO OF THE GENTILES." The "Doctrine
of Election" (Eph 1 and Rom 9) slams the cork into the bottle which
holds this heresy.
Now our battle is not against the "Armenians" as such; "For we wrestle
not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers,
the rulers (kosmokrator or world ruler) of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness (wicked spirits) in high places" (Eph
6:12). The ministers of Satan, who are transformed as ministers of
righteousness are the ones who teach that God is subject to the will of
man! "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming
themselves into the apostles of Christ" (II Cor. 11:13-15). "And many
shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom THE WAY OF
TRUTH shall be evil spoken of" (II Pet 2:2). "Armenianism,"
the doctrine that Man's will is greater than God's will is a Satanic
doctrine which began in the garden of Eden when the Serpent said to Eve
"Thou shalt not surely die"; thereby saying God is inferior to man.
DOES THE SCRIPTURE TEACH THAT THE "MESSIAH" WOULD EVER SET ON THE
NATURAL THRONE OF DAVID AND RULE HIS KINGDOM FROM THE PHYSICAL TEMPLE IN
EARTHLY JERUSALEM? or DOES SCRIPTURE TEACH THAT
THE "MESSIAH" WOULD ESTABLISH A "SPIRITUAL KINGDOM" AND RULE OVER HIS
PEOPLE AND REIGN WITH HIS SAINTS IN A SPIRITUAL KINGDOM ON EARTH UNTIL
THAT KINGDOM BE DELIVERED UP TO ETERNAL GLORY?
The answer to the first question is
NO. The answer to the second question is YES. But we must prove it from
Scripture or surely the cork will pop from the bottle. This will take
more space than what we have remaining, but we will begin. Please read
the Scripture references.
GOD RULES FROM HEAVEN! GOD DWELLS NOT IN TEMPLES MADE WITH HANDS!
This is a well established fact, but THE POSTPONED KINGDOM
THEORIST have failed to understand it. Solomon who built
the first Temple, (David, being a man of war could not build it - See: I
Chron. 22) said, "Will God indeed dwell on earth? behold, the heaven and
heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I
have builded? (I Kings 8:22-30). The Temple in earthly Jerusalem was to
be a HOUSE OF PRAYER, not the dwelling place of
God. Jesus cast out the moneychangers who sold doves and defiled the
Temple and said "It is written, My house shall be called the house of
prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Mat 21:12-13).
Steven, the Deacon, who was stoned by Christ-rejecting Jews who trusted
in the Temple, said "Solomon built him (God) a house. Howbeit the most
High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,
Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build
me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand
made all the things? YE STIFFNECKED AND UNCIRCUMCISED IN HEART
AND EARS, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your
fathers did, so do ye" (See: Acts 7:37-53 and Cf Romans 2:28-29).
These unregenerate or apostate Jews
had put their emphasis in TEMPLE WORSHIP, and did
not understand TRUE WORSHIP which is IN
SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH (Jere. 7:1-16, John 4:23-24). God has
never desired or delighted in animal sacrifices or burnt offerings on a
natural altar in a physical Temple. Those "Burnt Offerings" were only
types and shadows to point men to Jesus the Christ (Ps. 51:16-17, Jere.
7:21-24, Heb. 9:19-28, Gal. 3:19-25). We are to worship the Lord from
the heart in the beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2, Matt 22:36-38, Phil 3:3).
Paul, the Apostle, who preached ALL THE COUNSEL OF GOD - THE
WHOLE TRUTH - ALL OF THE REVEALED WORD OF GOD - BOTH OLD AND NEW -(Acts
20:26-27), said; "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing
that he is Lord of heaven and earth, DWELLETH NOT IN TEMPLES MADE
WITH HANDS; Neither is worshipped with men's hands --"
(Read: Acts 17:22-31). NOW IF GOD DWELLS NOT IN TEMPLES MADE WITH
HANDS, AND IS NOT WORSHIPED WITH MEN'S HANDS, HOW SAY SOME THAT GOD IN
CHRIST IS COMING BACK TO THIS EARTH TO DWELL IN A NATURAL MADE TEMPLE?
For Christ is God with Us!
Paul wrote to Timothy "These things have I written unto thee -- that
thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the HOUSE
OF GOD, which is the church of the living God, the pillar
and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness: GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH,
justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world, received up into glory" (I Tim 3:14-16).
At one point in our Lord's ministry "When Jesus therefore perceived that
they (The Jewish people) would come and take him by force, to make him a
king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone" (John 6:15). Does
that sound like someone who "offered himself" as a King but was
rejected? Jesus said, "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" (John
18:36-37). That doesn't sound like someone who could not have been King
on Earth had he wanted to. Christ was God manifest in the flesh. He
could have called twelve legions of Angels to install him as an earthly
king, had that been his will (See Matt. 26:53). NO FORCE ON EARTH
COULD HAVE KEPT HIM FROM BECOMING A KING ON EARTH AND REIGNING FROM AN
EARTHLY THRONE HAD THAT BEEN THE PURPOSE OF GOD. But that
was not God's "eternal purpose in Christ Jesus our Lord."
No man took his life from him, he had the power to lay it down and he
had the power to take it again, BECAUSE HE AND THE FATHER ARE ONE.
(See John 10:14-18, 24-31). He gave his life for his sheep - the elect
children of God - chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world -
AND "when he had by himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN ON THE
RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY ON HIGH -" and God the Father
said to God the Son -"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever -- Sit
thou on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool"
(Hebrews 1:1-13). PRAISE GOD, HE REIGNS TODAY!