Kingdom (Part I)

The Kingdom is the subject of many passages in both the Old and New Testaments. Many of the prophets, particularly Daniel, discuss the coming Kingdom of the Messiah. Jesus also preached the Kingdom of God, as recorded in the Gospels. In Revelation 20:1-6, John reveals that the Kingdom lasts for 1,000 years.

The Kingdom is also a subject of much debate, even amongst dispensationalists. Some hold that the Kingdom is in some kind of spiritual form now. This teaching is based on the parables that Jesus relates in Matthew 13. On one hand, the dispensation of the Kingdom and the Kingdom itself are not necessarily equitable. On the other hand, the parables which Jesus spoke are about the Kingdom. So the question is whether the Kingdom is present or yet future. Is there such a thing as a spiritual Kingdom at all? The view presented here is that there is not a spiritual Kingdom and that the Kingdom is yet future.

The beginning of the kingdom is the coronation of Jesus Christ in the Kingdom. After the Tribulation and the Judgment, God will then make the New Covenant with his people Israel. Jesus Christ will fulfill the Davidic Covenant when he sits on David’s throne in Jerusalem. This will mark the beginning of the 1,000-year reign of Christ
(Rev. 20:4). Throughout the thousand years, the Kingdom will grow until eventually it encompasses the entire earth (Dan. 2). At the beginning, the Gentile nations will be in tribute to Israel, but by the end, the Kingdom will encompass the entire world.

The revelation given about how men and women on the earth will live during this time is quite abundant. Food laws will evidently change again, at least for animals. Worship shall be conducted in a new Temple, including a sacrificial system (Ezek. 40-48). Jesus Christ is the only one who will be worshiped on the earth. Christ will rule with a rod of iron, and righteousness will be upheld throughout the world.

The Kingdom ends with a final judgment and the destruction of the earth. Revelation 20:7 describes the great cleansing of the earth at the end of the Tribulation. People who are alive entering the Kingdom will marry and will have children. These children will grow, and they will need to be redeemed like any one else. Many of them will live in conformity to the laws of Christ, but they will not believe in him as Savior. Thus, one final rebellion is allowed to finally cleanse the earth from all evildoers, even Satan himself.

The cleansing is known as the Great White Throne Judgment. During this judgment, those who rebelled and those who have been living in hell the past 1,000 years, the Antichrist, Satan, and the fallen angels will all be cast into the Lake of Fire. Then God will destroy the known universe, and he will begin again with a new heaven and new earth—a new universe, untainted by sin.

The Kingdom, then, is God’s means of managing the affairs of mankind. His mediator is Jesus Christ himself. Therefore, man’s  responsibility is to live in service and obedience to the King. For those who do, long life and rich blessing await. For those who do not, swift and righteous justice await.

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