Kingdom Countdown

Jesus came preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, saying ‘The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.'”

Jesus spoke these words more than 2,000 years ago; but as we have seen, the Kingdom of God has yet to be established in the earth. Just what did He mean when He said that the Kingdom was at hand?
Kingdom Countdown
Consider the following: Jesus Christ is King of the Kingdom. He is the ‘Way’ into the Kingdom and the ‘Door’ by which we may enter. He came to call sinners to repentance – to show them how they could enter the Kingdom. When He said, ‘The Kingdom of God is at hand,’ He meant the Messiah, the Savior – the only means under which men could enter the Kingdom of God – had come into the world of men and was in their midst.

This clarifies Jesus’ often misunderstood statement to the Pharisees: ‘The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.’ The words within you should be translated ‘among you,’ or ‘in your midst.’ Jesus Christ, the King of the Kingdom, was in the midst of the Pharisees when He spoke these words.

Often, ‘king,’ and ‘kingdom’ are used interchangeably. For example, the ‘head of gold’ in King Nebuchadnezzar’s prophetic dream (Daniel 2) represents the Babylonian kingdom – yet, it also represents the king of Babylon. The prophet Daniel explains, ‘Thou [Nebuchadnezzar] art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom…’ (verses 38,39).

In the seventh chapter, four beasts representing four kingdoms are described as ‘four kings which shall arise out of the earth,’ (verse 17).

So when Jesus spoke of the Kingdom of God as if it were present, He simply meant that the Kingdom was present in the Person of the King.

The apostle Paul’s reference to a present ‘Kingdom’ has also been misunderstood. He wrote, ‘Giving all thanks unto the Father…Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son,’ (Colossians 1:12,13).

God’s people are already ‘in’ the Kingdom in the same sense that an heir is already the possessor of his inheritance (see Galatians 4:1). They are ‘in’ the Kingdom in the sense that they have experienced some level of the power of the Kingdom, and have submitted to the rule to the King of the Kingdom.

Several other scriptures seem to suggest that the Kingdom is present. Please note the following: Matthew 12:20: ‘But if I [Jesus] cast out devils [demons] by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you.’

Mark 12:34: ‘And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, He said unto him, Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God…’

Luke 10:6-7: ‘And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as set before you: And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’

Revelation 1:7: ‘John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle called Patmos, for the Word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.’

None of the above passages says that the Kingdom of God has already been established in the earth. Rather, they simply say the Kingdom is present in power, or in the Person (or Spirit) of the King of the Kingdom, Jesus Christ.

When the disciples went into the various cities casting out demons, healing the sick, and preaching the Kingdom of God, they said ‘The Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.’ They meant that the means of entry into the Kingdom had been displayed.

John acknowledged his companionship with fellow Christians ‘in tribulation, and in the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.’ He was speaking of the hardships he and other Christians were having to endure, but was speaking with a view toward the future. They shared in the Kingdom (or kinship) in the sense that they shared the positive assurance that the present distress would one day give way to the glorious Kingdom of God.

The scholars who claim ‘You can’t have Jesus saying both the kingdom is here and is off in the future,’ and who supposedly “take a very careful approach to how saying of Jesus were transmitted and to the evolution of the Bible texts,’ need to be much more careful in their evaluation of biblical references to the Kingdom.

Perhaps they are not ‘maverick scholars’ but who said the majority is always right.

Humanity is headed toward destruction. Unless Almighty God intervenes into the affairs of humankind, there remains no hope for the future of our plant, no hope for our children and our children’s children – no hope at all! That’s why Jesus Christ must return!

An excerpt from our booklet, Why Christ Must Return

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