Monday, April 15, 2013

The Timing of the Kingdom of God and its definition.

Friends,

Many a times while I mention to my fellow Christians about the Kingdom of God, they keep telling me that "we are praying for the coming of the Kingdom". Yes, they are alluding to what is generally termed as the Lord's Prayer. (Matt 6:10)


The common Christian understanding is that at some future date God would wipe out (annihilate) the entire human race from the face of the earth and would bring the earth to the glory of Eden and would replenish the earth with resurrected people. (The specifics would vary, but this is the synopsis.)


7+ Billions!
 

If this hypothesis were true, and if God were to bring about the Kingdom today, more than 7 billion human beings have to be annihilated by wars, contagious diseases, plagues or natural disasters. The proponents of this theory also are very sure that God is Love! And their loving God would act cunningly like Laban or Ahithophel and annihilate human race through means other than flood (Gen 9:11) in the name of establishing a peaceful kingdom!
 

They conjure up scriptures (that they seldom discern) from Isaiah and Revelation to embellish their theory.
 

What the Kingdom is NOT! 
Joh 18:36 Jesus 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.
Jesus never preached about an earthly, physical kingdom. His kingdom has nothing to do with this world. In other words, it is not a worldly kingdom.
Luk 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God comes not with observation:
Whether it be ancient Pharisees or their modern counterparts who raise the question regarding the timing of coming of the Kingdom, the answer is same: Kingdom does not come with observation (it is not a visible, physical kingdom).
Luk 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is WITHIN you.
While it is said that your heart, liver or pancreas is within you, do you consider it to be outside you or something that has to come down from the sky?

The Greek word used for within in Luk 17:21 does not have the meaning of "among" as some do teach. The same word is used in:

Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is WITHIN the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
There are no scripture that teaches that the Kingdom is a physical one.
 

What the Kingdom IS.
Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
1Co 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.
  • The Kingdom is: righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
  • The Kingdom is: power - and the power is of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8, Rom 15:13)
Joy is not something that is external to you, it is within you. The Holy Spirit dwells within you, indwells in you, it is not external to you.
 

While Paul said that sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God, Christians got carried away and decided that they won’t be raised from death. When properly discerned, those scriptures simply mean that the sinners won’t have peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Gal 5:18-26 and 1Co 6:9).
 

The timing for the establishment of the Kingdom.
 

The term Kingdom of God is used for the first time in the Bible in Dan 2:44.

Dan 2:44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,…
 
While read in context, the scriptures talk about 4 empires. (Dan 2:38-44)


VerseKingdomDuration
Dan 2:38Babylon608 - 539 BC
Dan 2:39Medo-Persian Empire550 - 336 BC
Dan 2:39Greek Empire (Macedonia under Philip II and Alexander the Great, Seleucid Empire, Ptolemaic Kingdom)336 - 30 BC
Dan.2:40Roman Empire (Eastern Roman Empire, Western Roman Empire)27 BC - 476 AD
(End of the divided Eastern Roman Empire: 1453 AD)


There are many futurists who want to read "in the days of those kings" (Dan 2:44) as referring to the modern nations of the Great Britain and the United States. Can anyone show us that the United States is ruled by a king? Was the United States ever ruled by a king ever since it attained independence? Even the Great Britain has a titular monarchy and the decisions are made by democratically elected parliament under the Prime Minister. The world is getting rid of monarchical form of government, but sadly, our futurist friends seldom update their knowledge base. (as of this writing there are only 12 monarchs in Europe and 10 of them do not find place in the futurists' list, instead they add the USA thinking that the USA has some role in bringing about the end of the world.)

Obviously, Dan 2:44 is referring to the kings of the fourth empire, the Roman Empire which came into existence around 27 BC and ceased to exist after 1453 AD.

There is no way that the Kingdom of God has to come any day after 1453 AD! (That is if you trust the scriptures).

Is this some coincidence? 


Towards the very beginning of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ (30-33 AD) he announced:
Mat 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Read the scripture again and again! Read alternative versions:
(ESV) But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. (LITV) But if I cast out the demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come on you.
(MKJV) But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
(Murdock) But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, the kingdom of God hath come near to you.
Every known translation renders the passage in present or present perfect tense.

Is it just a coincidence that Jesus uttered these words during the days of the fourth empire? If the Kingdom has to come in some distant future, was Jesus uttering a lie by telling that it has already come?


Have you noticed it?


Paul said that the Kingdom is all about Holy Spirit (Rom 14:23, 1Co 4:20) and Jesus associated it with the Spirit of God.


Friend, the Kingdom is of spiritual nature, it is within you and it does not come by observation.

To the apostles' question regarding giving back the Kingdom to Israel Jesus said:
Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus again associates the Kingdom with the Holy Spirit and power! Also, notice that Jesus did not answer whether the kingdom will be returned to the Israel after flesh, instead he spoke about the Holy Spirit and power that is to be bestowed on Israel after Spirit, the church!

Remember the words of Jesus to the Israel after flesh:
Mat 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
Yes, the Kingdom is taken from them and is given to you, the Israel of God (Gal 6:16).

What is the place of kings without kingdom?

Apostle John greets his first century audience with grace and peace from the Eternal God and the seven spirits and Jesus Christ, who loved us (John and his audience), and washed us (John and his audience) from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Read other versions as well:
(LITV) and made us kings and priests to God, even His Father. To Him is the glory and the might forever and ever. Amen.
(MKJV) and made us kings and priests to God and His Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Every known version renders this passage in past tense or present perfect tense. Was John lying while he said his first century audience that they are already made kings? You be the judge!

Apostle Paul tells this to his first century audience if Ephesus:
Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Remember, Ephesus is one of the 7 churches to which John addressed his Revelation (Rev 1:11). Paul says that his audience is already made to sit with Christ in heavenly places! Before saying these words, Paul tell them that Christ is already set in heavenly places (heavenlies) - Eph 1:20!

Bonus verse:
Col 1:13 [God] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

Were Paul and John lying to their respective audiences that they were already seated as kings in heavenly places? You be the judge!

It is my personal experience with futurists want to understand all these passages in future tense, instead of "you are made kings and priests" they want to read it as "you will be made kings and priests"

If they have to make all the scriptures written in past or present perfect tense into future tense, their rendition of Gen 1:1 may read like this:

In the beginning God will create the heaven and earth! (Futurists' Bible
☺)

If the futurists are right, why none of the 400+ English Bibles render these scriptures in future tense?
In Christ,
Tomsan Kattackal