I apologize for the length of this article, but it is absolutely imperative that Christians understand the point this article makes. While this topic of the kingdom is necessary for the overall discussion of Apocalyptic language in scripture, it goes well beyond that. Many of you already understand the premise of this post and this will be review. To those of you who do not agree now, I hope this will help you come to a better understanding of what the kingdom is. It is not about location, and never has been. It is about a people who are ruled by a king. The kingdom is here, now. I hope that you will open your Bible and see if these things are true...
The Kingdom of God/Christ/Heaven
I. How many spiritual kingdoms are there? Edit
A. Various Kingdoms mentioned in the Bible: Edit
1. David’s kingdom Edit
We learn in Acts 13:22 that David was a man after God’s on heart. Before David’s death, God made several promises to him. 2 Sam. 7:12-16 –
“12And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.”
a. Four main points to the promise:
1) David’s seed would sit upon the throne 2) it would occur after David’s death 3) God would be the one to establish this throne, 4) this new king would build God’s house.
b. Peter, on the day of Pentecost, told how God had fulfilled his promise to David through Christ:
Acts 2:29-35 - “29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. 30Therefore 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; 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33Therefore 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. 34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35Until I make thy foes thy footstool.”
c. The promises to David were fulfilled:
1) Christ was the seed of David 2) His coronation in heaven took place after the death of David 3) Christ was raised up “to sit on his throne” 4) God’s house, the church, has been built. Paul wrote to Timothy (I Tim. 3:15) to remind him “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.”
d. 2 Sam. 7:16 – “16And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” Here, God promises to establish three things: David’s house, David’s kingdom, and David’s throne. If we can find when one of these was established, then we know when all were established.
1) David’s house (royal family) was re-established in the first century. Matthew begins his gospel by proclaiming Christ to be “the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). God promised, through the prophet Amos (Amos 9:11), to “raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages.” The NKJV adds a textual note to this verse, which reads, “Lit. booth, A figure of a disposed dynasty.” Amos had left his home at Tekoa to Bethel to prophesy against the kingdom of Israel, which had become corrupt, and warned the people of their coming doom (Amos 1:1; 7:7-17). The rule of David’s house had ended for Israel when they left the theocracy; It ended for Judah with the carrying away of Coniah into Babylon - Jer. 22:24-25:
“24As I live, saith the LORD, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; 25And I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life, and into the hand of them whose face thou fearest, even into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of the Chaldeans."
2) In Acts 15:13-19, James quotes from Amos’s prophesy concerning the fate of Gentiles:
“13And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 14Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 15And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 17That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”
What had to happen before the Gentiles could seek after God? The tabernacle of David had to be rebuilt. It follows that if tabernacle has not been rebuilt: and, if Christ is not sitting on David’s throne, then the Gentiles cannot seek after God.
3). David’s kingdom was “established” during the first century. In Col. 1:13, Paul told the Colossians that God “13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”; and, in Heb. 12:28, the writer tells the Christians “28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”; and finally, in Rev. 3:21, Christ tells the church at Laodicea “21To 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.”
e. Whose throne did David sit upon?
1) Many teach that Jesus sits on the throne of God, but not on the throne of David.
2) During the time of Samuel, the people of Israel desired to no longer to be ruled by a judge, they wanted a king to rule over them like the nations around them. Their sin was not just wanting to be ruled like other nations, but that they rejected God as their King. I Sam. 8:7 -
“7And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”
3) God had promised Kings would rule over Israel. Jacob promised Judah that kings would come from his linage, “10The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” (Gen. 49:10) Moses instructed the people on the duties and behaviors of kings before the people entered the promised land in Deut. 17:14-15 –
“14When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me; 15Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.”
4) The point is that when God allowed the Israelites to have a king, he was ruling in the place of God. This fact explains some of the following passages:
a) David at the coronation of Solomon, 1 Kings 1:35 –
“35Then ye shall come up after him, that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah.”
b) David said in 1 Chron. 28:5 –
“5And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel.”
c) 1 Chron.29:23 –
“23Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.”
d) 1 Kings 2:24 -
“24Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day.”
e) 1 Kings 8:20 –
“20And the LORD hath performed his word that he spake, and I am risen up in the room of David my father, and sit on the throne of Israel, as the LORD promised, and have built an house for the name of the LORD God of Israel.”
Putting these verses together we see that Solomon sat on “the throne of David,” “the throne of the Lord,” “the throne of Israel,” and the throne of the Kingdom of the Lord over Israel” all at the same time.
2. Christ’s kingdom Edit
Zechariah prophesied about the reign of Christ in Zech. 6:13 – “13Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
a. Christ was to do three things,
1) He would sit on his throne, 2) He would be priest on his throne, and 3) He would rule on his throne.
Putting this into the form of a syllogism, one would say:
1) He would rule on his throne while priest (Zech 6:13) 2) He is a priest on his throne now (Heb. 8:1) 3) Therefore, he is ruling on his throne now.
1) He is a priest on His throne (Zech. 6:13) 2) He is a priest in Heaven (Heb. 4:14) 3) Therefore, His throne is in heaven.
1) He could not be priest if he were on earth (Heb. 8:4) 2) However, he is priest on his throne (Zech. 6:13) 3) Therefore his throne cannot be on earth.
b. Christ is a descendent of King Coniah. In 1 Chron. 3:16 we read “16And the sons of Jehoiakim: Jeconiah his son, Zedekiah his son.” In 1Chron. 3:17 and in Matt. 1:12, we read where Coniah (also called Jeconiah) begat Shealtiel. Finally, again in Matt. 1:12, we point out that Christ was a descendent of Shealtiel. What is the great Importance of this fact? According to Jeremiah 22:24-30, the prophet condemned this king as a “despised, broken idol.” Coniah was to be cast out of the land and brought into captivity. In Jeremiah 22:30 it was prophesied that he was a “man who shall not prosper in his days; for none of his descendents shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David, and ruling anymore in Judah.” MAJOR EMPASIS: Coniah would never have a descendent of His sitting on the throne of David while ruling in Jerusalem. Since Jesus is a descendent of Coniah, he cannot sit on a throne and rule in Jerusalem.
Therefore, Christ cannot set up an earthly kingdom and rule from Jerusalem as claimed by premillennialists. When Christ returns it will not be for the purpose of establishing an earthly kingdom: He is at this very moment the King of kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 17:14) “14These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” He rules as sovereign King in His kingdom right now. When He returns He will deliver “the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and authority and power” (1Cor. 15:24).
Daniel 2:44 – “44And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” The kingdom that God would set up would come during the 4th worldly kingdom seen in this vision. That of course we know to be the Roman Empire. The vision included the Babylon Empire during which the vision came, the Medo-Persian in 538 B.C., then the Grecian Empire, and finally the Roman Empire.
Consider these prophesies: Is. 9:7,8 - “7Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. 8The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel.”
Micah 4:1 – “1But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.”
Isaiah 2:2 – “2And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.”
Christ said to the Pharisees in Luke 17:20, 21, “20And 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: 1Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” He might have just as well been addressing premillennialists.
John 18:36, 37 - "36Jesus 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. 37Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."
Jesus told his disciples in Mark 1:15, “15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” So the Kingdom that was not of this world was at hand. Did it come?
Matt. 3:2 – Kingdom of heaven at hand
Matt. 4:17 - Kingdom of heaven at hand
Matt. 5:3, 10 - …Theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Matt. 6:33 – Told them to seek first the Kingdom of God
Matt. 9:35 – he was preaching the gospel of the Kingdom
Matt. 10:7 – Kingdom of heaven at hand
Matt. 12:28 – The kingdom has come to you
Matt. 13:38 – The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
Matt. 16:19 – “19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Matt. 16: 28 – “28Verily 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.” Either there are some very old people walking around or the kingdom of Christ arrived.
Matt. 26:29 – “29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Mark 11:10 – “10Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”
Mark 12:34 – “34And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.”
Luke 9:27 – “27But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.”
Luke 10:9 – “9And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.”
John 3:3,5 – “3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Acts 8:12 – “12But 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 14:22 – “22Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
Romans 14:17 – “17For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
1 Cor. 15:24 – “24Then 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.”
Colossians 1:13 - “13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
1 Thes. 2:12 – “12That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.”
Heb. 12:28 – “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:”
2 Pet. 1:11 – “11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
c. Bride is the Lamb’s Wife/ Body of Christ/ Church
Rev. 21:9 – “9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”
Romans 7:4 - “4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”
Romans 12:4,5 – “4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”
1 Cor. 12:12-14 – “12For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14For the body is not one member, but many.”
1 Cor. 12:20 – “20But now are they many members, yet but one body.”
1 Cor. 12:27 – “27Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
Eph. 5:23 – “23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.”
Eph. 5:30 – “30For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”
Col. 1:18 – “18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
Col. 1:24 – “24Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”
Col. 3:15 – “15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”
II. THE CHURCH AND THE KINGDOM ARE INDEED THE SAME Edit
A. The words are used inter changeably: Edit
Matt. 16:18,19 – “18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Heb. 12:22-28 – “22But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. 25See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: 26Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”
B. The church and the kingdom have the same beginning period: Edit
The law of Christ began at the cross when the Mosaical Law (and the Patriarchal laws) were ended (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:15). So in essence, the laws of the kingdom and therefore the kingdom itself begin here, though there were no citizens yet in it. It is the constitution or charter of a nation that founds that nation. However, people did not begin to populate the kingdom until they were added as citizens to it.
Mk. 9:1 …kingdom to come with power.
Acts 1:8 …power to come with the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:1-4 …power came on the day of Pentecost. A.D. 33
Acts 2:41, 47 – people were added to the church first on the day of Pentecost A.D. 33
Thus the kingdom and the church began to have citizens on the same day. They were added to the church.
Though it existed prior to this in a technical sense and people were added to it. If it did not exist before people were added to it, what where they added to? (Acts 2:41, 47) It is difficult to me to say that the kingdom had a technical start on Pentecost because that leaves 50 days without any spiritual law being in effect since the Mosaical Law ended at the cross (Col. 2:14). I believe this "coming" then refers to the public proclamation through the power of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the addition of citizens to the kingdom rather than its formal founding day.
C. The church and the kingdom have the same practical beginning place Edit
Jerusalem (see above scriptures).
D. The church and the kingdom are bought with the same blood: Edit
Rev. 5:9-10 – the kingdom was bough with the blood of the Christ. Acts 20:28 – The church was bought with the blood of the Christ
Thus the church and the kingdom are the same institution.
E. The have the same ruler: Edit
Col. 1:13 – Christ is king of the kingdom Col. 1:18 – Christ is head over the Church
F. The have the same terms of entrance: Edit
John 3:1-5 - One enters the kingdom by a birth of water and of the Spirit.
1 Cor. 12:13 – But one enters the church by a birth of water and of the Spirit.
G. They have the same membership: Edit
Col.1:2 – The Colossians were in Christ, which was equal to being in the church. Rom. 6:4; Gal. 3:27; and, 1Cor. 12:13.
Col 1:13 – But the Colossians had been translated into the kingdom. Thus they were in both the church and the kingdom, which are equal and the same institution.
H. They both have the same memorial:
Matt. 26:29 – The Lords table was to be in the kingdom. 1 Cor. 11:20-27 – The Lord’s table was in the church.
III. The Kingdom of God Edit
1. In the beginning we only had the Kingdom of God.
a. We read in 1. Sam 8:7 where God told Samuel to heed to the will of the people for they had not rejected Samuel as their leader as judge, but rather God as their King. God gave the Israelites an earthly king to rule over them in place of God himself. First, he gave the rule to Saul, but later gave it to David. God loved David because he was a man after God’s own heart. Although David’s kingdom was an earthly kingdom, later through Christ it would become a spiritual one.
b. Scriptures such as 1 Kings 1:35; 1 Chron. 29:23; 1 Chron. 28:5; 1 Kings 2:24; 1 Kings 8:20, explain that Solomon sat on the “throne of David,” the “throne of the Lord,” “the throne of Israel,” and the “throne of the Lord over Israel” all at the same time.
c. We see how then that these two are in a sense one in the same. After the fall of Judah and the end of David’s dynasty, David’s throne return to God for the purpose of fulfillment of prophesy. Remember 2 Samuel 7:12-16, where God told David, “12And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. 14I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: 15But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” The fulfillment of which came through Christ.
d. Notice in the scripture above that Christ’s throne would be established forever, David’s throne would also be established forever.
e. Also, note that the fulfillment was accomplished in Acts 2:29-35, which we have already read.
f. David’s throne was thus “established” when God raised “up the Christ to sit on his throne” and exalted Him “To the right hand of God.” Christ said to the Church at Laodicea in Rev. 3:21, “21To 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.”
2. In these examples of scriptures, Christ is sitting on David’s throne, God’s throne, and his own throne. All three thrones are now located in heaven and are in reality, a single throne. Remember David’s throne spiritually speaking was the same as the throne of God. So now we have Christ sitting on the throne, which belonged to both David and God.
3. There is a theory in the world today accepted by most so-called “Christians” that Christ sits in heaven on the throne of God. They claim that Jesus was not allowed to set up his Kingdom here on earth, because the Jews rejected Him as the Christ. We realize that Christ’s Kingdom is the church, and that this theory is false. However, sometimes the idea of God’s kingdom and Christ Kingdom being two separate kingdoms which comes from the above theory is accepted by many in the church. Can it be established through the scriptures that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Christ are the same? If it is true in one place, then it must be true throughout the entire Bible.
4. Most of the “Christian World” today still pray the “Lord’s prayer” found in Matt. 6:9-13, “9After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11Give us this day our daily bread. 12And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
a. Why is it that true Christians don’t pray this prayer exactly as it is recorded? Simply put, it is out of date, because the kingdom has already come; we know it to be the church.
b. However, let us examine the prayer more closely. Whose kingdom was Christ praying for to come to this earth. Christ, speaking to God, said “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” The kingdom Christ was praying for to come and be established on earth was God’s kingdom. At this time God was again sitting on His throne ruling in heaven, it was his kingdom.
c. Remember back in 2 Sam. 7:13, God told David that Christ (David’s seed) would come and build a house for God’s name. That house is the Church:
1 Tim. 3:15, “15But if I tarry long, 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.”
1)Now lets complicate things concerning “the house”, Heb. 3:6 reads, “6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”
2) Paul writing to the Ephesians in Eph. 1:20-23 wrote, “20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”
3) Paul writes to the Colossians in Col. 1:18, “18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.”
d. Taking points 1-3 we see:
- God’s house is the church - Christ is over his own house, which is the church - Christ is head of the body, the church
e. Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15:24-28, “24Then 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 enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”
5. We see the crowds crying out as Jesus makes triumphant entry into Jerusalem, “10Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.”( Mark 11:10)
6. There are other verses expressing the same thing; however, these should be sufficient to make the following points:
- God gave all power to Christ in heaven and on earth. - God set Christ at his right hand. - God gave him charge over God’s house, the Church, which is also Christ’s body. - God made him the new beginning; the firstborn from the dead - God gave Christ charge of God’s kingdom in heaven since he gave him power over all things in heaven and on earth - Thus God’s kingdom became Christ’s kingdom, and God’s throne became Christ’s throne - The verse in Mk. 11 shows that David’s kingdom came back in the name of Christ, or one might say, through the kingdom of Christ as God had promised David. - At the end of time, Christ will deliver the kingdom back to God - Thus, the kingdom of God, of David (In a spiritual sense), of heaven, and of Christ are all the same.
B. References to the Kingdom of God coming Edit
Mark 1:15 – Jesus preached, “15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
Lk. 9:27 – “27But 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 – “1And 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.”
C. References to the Kingdom of Heaven coming Edit
Matt. 10:7 – “7And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Matt. 4:17 – “17From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
D. These kingdoms are the same and the prophesy is that they are coming shortly. Edit
The term “at hand” in the scriptures to just a few years or a very short period of time.
Matt. 16:19 – Peter was given the Keys to the kingdom, “19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
IV. Kingdom of Satan Edit
- If then, the four above spiritual kingdoms (Kingdom of heaven, Kingdom of God, Kingdom of David, and the Kingdom of Christ) are the same are there any other spiritual kingdoms recorded in the bible which are not the same as the other four mentioned. The answer is yes. There is the “Kingdom of Satan.” We read in Matt. 12:26, “25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: 26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?” Again in Lk. 11:18 we read, “18If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?”
V. Can a spiritual kingdom exist in more that one place? Edit
A. The answer is of course yes. Edit
Many of the same scriptures used above show that God’s kingdom exists both on earth and in heaven at the same time. Christ stated before he left for heaven to receive his throne that he was going to prepare a place for members of the church. That preparing was the ascension to the throne and the sending of the Holy Spirit. God’s house is the spiritual church as stated in 1 Tim. 3:15, “ the house of God which is the church.”
B. Christ sits on his throne in heaven ruling over the kingdom in both heaven and on earth, two places – one kingdom. Edit
In 2 Cor. 5:1,2 Paul states, “1For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:”
Christ is King for the spiritual kingdom in heaven and on earth. Satan is charge of his kingdom.
VI. Can one or does one (a Christian) inherit the church? (If not, why not; if so, how so.) According to scripture, can one be denied an inheritance, which was to be a spiritual kingdom? Edit
A. Who and what cannot inherit the kingdom. Edit
1Cor. 6:9,10 – “9Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
1Cor. 15:50 – “50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
Gal. 5:21 – “21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
According to the above scriptures, the unrighteous are denied the right to inherit a spiritual kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Conversely, we must conclude that the righteous do inherit the Kingdom of God.
B. What does it mean to inherit the Kingdom of God? Edit
Does it always mean that we will take possession or ownership of His Kingdom?
1. No. We can inherit the kingdom by being “partakers of” or by being “participants in” the kingdom. Wives may not be so pleased, if a law were passed where they had no inheritance by virtue of their marriage.
Let us take two earthly examples:
a. A citizen from another country decides he/she wants to become a citizen of the U. S. They follow all the correct procedures and become a citizen. What does that do for them? They by virtue of their citizenship inherit all the rights and privileges of this country. They do not own this country: they are just legal participants in those rights and privileges.
b. In the second example, a child gets adopted into a family. Normally, they become heirs to that family and should be allowed to participate in all family functions. They, too, are said to be heirs of the family. In this case, it might include some ownership.
c. There are scriptures that support this conclusion:
Matt.25:34 – “34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”
Heb. 6:12 – “12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Matt. 19:29 – “29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”
Ga. 3:24-29 – “24Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Ga. 4:1-7 – “1Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. 3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: 4But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
d. I hope we can see that we do inherit a spiritual kingdom through Christ.
VII. Considering the two spiritual kingdoms, when did they start; and if you believe that they exist in more than one place, when did they start at each place? Edit
A. God’s Kingdom Edit
1. Under God – In the beginning.
2. Under Christ – The cross, announced formally at Pentecost and citizens begin to be added to it then.
B. Satan’s Kingdom Edit
– Fall of man
C. How log will they last? Edit
1. God’s Kingdom – Will last forever, being delivered up to God the Father in the end of time (1 Cor. 15:24).
2. Satan’s Kingdom – Till Christ returns at the end of time.
In Truth and Love.