A good friend and Elder who has long since gone home to be with the Lord told me of his conversion from the hard-charging, convert at any cost Missionary Baptists to the faith that was once delivered to the Saints. He was challenged, after seminary training to biblically prove the Kingdom of God was future, as he had been taught, and as he taught in the churches he served. In his exhaustive study through the old and new testaments, he came to the conclusion he was living in the kingdom – now, and that the future theology he taught was based on grave error.
Understanding enough about the word of God to know the Lord would have a witness teaching the truth, he sought out to find who taught this Kingdom Now doctrine and soon became a Primitive Baptist.
So many people today are looking for the Kingdom WHERE, but would be better served to look for the Kingdom WHEN.
People want to know whether the writers of the New Testament were speaking of the same thing when they used the phrase Kingdom of God, and Kingdom of Heaven, and we declare that they are. Matthew’s gospel used the term “of heaven,” and his intention was to portray the fully God nature of Christ.
You would think something as big as a kingdom could be easily understood. But even those who claim to know the scriptures struggle over the Kingdom of God, thinking it to be something that will “someday” be set up on the earth as an example of “how it could have been.”
The timing of the kingdom is as important as the location. Once you’ve decided what the kingdom is, and where, you need to ask, when? As you consider all three, perhaps his kingdom will be revealed in a new light.
Let’s consider some bible verses about the Kingdom and see if we can determine where, and when it takes place.
The Kingdom – Where? When?
When you consider carefully the folks entering, the need for spiritual eyes, the struggling continuing, the timing and all the statements the Lord made about the Kingdom, we have to conclude that A) it won’t be heaven itself, and B) the earthly Kingdom won’t be a future perfect heaven on earth. There will still be folks scrambling for food and clothing, undergoing much tribulation, halt and maimed (not healed and in perfect health), full of harlots and publicans, etc.
Given all that, we have to place the kingdom beginning at the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, and allow that it exists in a still sin-cursed earth, inhabited by sinners, albeit, sinners saved by grace.
So now we look to scriptures describing this kingdom and see if our understanding is correct.
Dan 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Let’s reason a little, shall we? The verse above clearly marks the WHERE of the kingdom, making it earthly, UNDER the heaven. So now, WHEN?
The scripture teaches he hast (past tense) made us Kings and Priests. It doesn’t say he will make us kings and priests, it says he hast made us thus. I’m alive right now. I trust I’m serving in His kingdom; therefore, my participation can’t be future. It must be now. Otherwise, I’m not a King and a Priest, but only have a hope to be one someday? When? In eternity? That won’t stand up.
Dan 4:3 How great [are] his signs! and how mighty [are] his wonders! his kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion [is] from generation to generation.
First, the kingdom IS everlasting, not WILL BE. Second, it’s from generation to generation.
Dan 2:44 And 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 “days of these kings” can not be futuristic post tribulation/rapture etc. It’s happened and the kingdom is NOW.
The error can be traced to one man’s failure to rightly divide the word of truth. C.I. Scofield wanted to force his idea of a future kingdom so strongly he convinced people that the 70th week of Daniel had to be separated from the first 69. It does not.
Brother Royce Ellis