King Now, Or Coming King?
As with the "New Earth vs. Re-Newed Earth" issue and the question of whether the Bible teaches that "Jesus Ever Sets Foot on This Earth Again", the matter now before us is also a black and white, yes or no issue. There is no middle ground, no compromise, no gray area. The Bible can only teach one side of each of these questions. If it teaches both sides, God would be contradicting Himself and the Bible would be rendered useless as a source of Absolute Truth on every subject it addresses. It is not contradictory. One teaching is true; all others are counterfeits.
This new question (Jesus, King now or later?) belongs with the other two for another good reason. Like those, the Biblical answer serves to reveal and rule out two of the most egregious doctrinal deceptions now controlling a great deal of Christian evangelism, namely, the Pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine, and the millennial doctrine of Jesus ruling on this earth for 1000 years.
Hence, like the other two questions, the answer to the time of Jesus’ Kingship is a Biblical Truth that must be discovered, settled, and presented to the Church as part of a doctrinal cleansing that must come to prepare the Final Church to be of "one mind" and "without spot or wrinkle".
One Thing a King Must Have Is a Kingdom
Millennialist teaching declares that Jesus is coming back to establish a Kingdom and rule the world from Jerusalem for 1000 years. According to this teaching, God’s original plan was for Jesus to establish such a Kingdom and be King over it when He was in Judea almost 2000 years ago. However, because the Jews rejected Jesus, His Kingdom and His Kingship were postponed until a yet future (but widely anticipated) date.
This "postponement theory" is sometimes called the "great parenthesis theory". This "theory" involves yet another false teaching upon which Millennialist eschatology stands. The Scripturally accurate part of this theory is that only 69 weeks of the 70 weeks prophesy of Daniel were fulfilled when Jesus was crucified, i.e., "cut off" (Daniel 9:26), thereby causing the completion of the 70th week (seven years) to be "postponed" until sometime future to today. This 2000 year (and counting) hiatus is called "the great parenthesis". That label is O K if the seven years involved are applied to the Scriptural time frames demanded for the yet to come Fall of Babylon, Seven Trumpet plagues, and "little season"[See: 7th Trumpet].
But, insofar as postponing Jesus' Kingship to the time of a literal millennium is concerned, Scriptural support for this theory is just as non-existent as all the "left behind" secret rapture attempts to account for the seven years...and thereby falsely make a way to establish that literal millennium. Keep that distinction uppermost in your mind. The amazing thing is that such hypotheses--with their tortured and labyrinthine attempts at giving a Scriptural explanation for a true accommodation of that leftover week from Daniel's prophesy--could have gained such a hold over much of evangelical Christianity! I mean, think about it! The whole idea comes to rest on a belief that God was caught off guard by the Pharisees’ rejection of Jesus, and that God, being surprised by this unexpected turn of events, was forced to improvise a whole new plan for Jesus' Kingship! (Give us a break, please!) According to this convoluted doctrine, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the Church, the sending of the Holy Spirit, and essentially, the whole New Testament, were hastily instituted as "Plan B" by God because His "Plan A" was rejected by the Jews. Many plain Old and New Testament Scriptures declare such a conclusion abject nonsense (e.g., Is. Ch.53; Acts 15:18, etc.).
In short, Millennialist doctrine basically says that there would have been no need for the New Testament and all the rest if Jesus had just given the Pharisees the kind of powerful earthly kingdom they expected the Messiah to establish. Such a messiah they would allow to be king. Such a Messiah as Jesus, however, the Pharisees would not allow to be King. Once it was clear to them that Jesus was not going to do it their way, they saw to it that He was crucified. The Kingdom Jesus offered was a totally different kind of Kingdom than the one they wanted. Jesus taught plainly that the Kingdom over which He was King was not one that could be seen at all, but rather, was inside a person:
And 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: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or Lo there! for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:20,21)
Seeing that the whole Millennialist eschatology rests on a mis-application of the "postponement, great parenthesis" concept for Daniel's 70th week of years, allegedly improvised by God to handle His surprise at the Jews’ rejection of Jesus as their King, one must wonder what happened to the "omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent" God of the Christian Bible. Again, is it not written:
"Known unto God are ALL His works from the beginning of the world" (Acts 15:18)??
(And what of these other Scriptures which say the same thing: I Peter 1:20; Hebrews 4:3; Revelation 13:8; II Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2; Ephesians 1:4; etc.??)
If one believes these are the Words of God, is it not fatuous to say that the rejection of Jesus caused God the Father to go back to His drawing board and come up with "Plan B" which included the crucifixion and all that followed in the New Testament and since then?!
Keep in mind that the Bible speaks of Jesus’ crucifixion as something that was planned before the earth was created. The Word plainly teaches that the cross was one of God’s works planned from the beginning of the world when It tells of:
"...the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world"(Rev.13:8).
The "postponement--great parenthesis" fulfillment in a Pre-tribulation Rapture Millennialist hypothesis basically denies that God is omniscient. More, it depicts God as a bumbler who alters and adjusts His plans to suit the desires of certain people who seek to honor themselves and not Him. This is the kind of g-d one finds in the Talmud--where Rabbis argue with g-d and defeat Him [See: Talmud]--but this is not the Sovereign God of the Bible to Whom man’s wisdom (Rabbi or not) is "foolishness" (I Cor.3:19). "Great parenthesis- postponement" pre-trib rapture Millennialism indirectly teaches that God did not anticipate the crucifixion, the resurrection, the New Testament, and the rest. So, mark it down: There can be no Millennialist doctrine without endorsing the totally contra-Scriptural idea that God’s original plan for Jesus was for Him to be king over an earthly Jewish Kingdom; that this plan was foiled by the Jews’ rejection of Jesus; that this rejection caused Jehovah God to improvise and come up with the crucifixion of His Son (and the whole New Testament); and postpone the original plan for Jesus to be King and rule from Jerusalem to a still future "millennium".
And all this, remember, is in spite of Jesus’ repeated warnings that the Kingdom He was bringing was not something that was tangible and could be seen somewhere, but rather, that His Kingdom was inside a person (Luke 17:20,21)!
Thus, with its overuse and misuse of the "glorious" but "abolished" Old Testament Jewish focus (II Cor.3:11, 13), advocates of the Millennialist doctrine have been tricked into distorting one of the chief messages of the New Testament. That message, repeated over and over, is that the Jews are no longer the "chosen people" of God, but that God the Father instituted a New Covenant for "whosoever will" and sealed it in the blood of His only begotten Son. This New Contract between God and "whosoever will" was and is open to everyone--including Jews--without "respect of persons".
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)
Millennialist doctrine is a clever distortion of that major New Testament fact and is designed to give the Jewish religious establishment what Jesus refused to give them, i.e., their earthly, world-controlling kingdom after all!
Taking all that into consideration, it is rather easy to see how the idea has sunk into this teaching that Jesus will not have a Kingdom until the alleged millennial age begins, and, therefore, He will not be King until then. Hence, the Coming King idea.
One of the less obvious but still serious failings of this millennial kingship teaching is that it demotes Jesus drastically! This teaching sees Jesus as a mere king headquartered in Jerusalem who runs things for a mere thousand years! What is not taught is that the Bible plainly says (Rev.20:3,7) that Satan then steps back on stage after the "1000 years" and goes out to deceive nations all over the earth and "gather them together to battle", and that he succeeds in "compassing the camp of the saints about" (vs.8,9) until God intervenes, and it is recorded at that point that: "fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them" (Satan’s followers: v.9).
In the Millennialist scenario, one must wonder what King Jesus does when the "thousand years" are over and Satan goes on a rampage again. Millennialist doctrine has no Biblical answer. The "fire that comes down and devours Satan’s followers" cannot be explained in Millennialist doctrine. This "fire from heaven" cannot be the alleged Re-newing of the earth fire that melts the earth, etc., (II Pet.3; etc.) because that fire--Millennialists say--is what prepares the earth for Jesus’ rule. That won’t work because the bad people are not "devoured" in that alleged re-upholstering process, but, rather, are unmistakably present when Satan is released after the "thousand years" and goes about organizing them again. More to the point, Jesus makes it plain that "...those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me" (Luke 19:27). It does not appear that the enemies of Christ will share the heaven-like conditions ascribed to a literal thousand year millennium and then be free to be deceived by Satan and continue their worshipful and near victorious service to him in the "little season" immediately following the "1000 years", does it?
Every such attempt to make sense out of the convoluted Millennialist eschatology runs into a Biblical stone wall when Christians cease trying to make long-fulfilled Old Testament prophecies--which pertained only to the Jews--fit the New Testament prophecies of Jesus. The Old Testament was just God’s preliminary Contract with perhaps 1/50th of one percent of the world’s people, viz., with the twelve tribes of Jacob (Israel). It was a "glorious" Covenant, a Spiritual quantum leap in its time. Every jot and title of it is recorded for eternity for the lessons it contains, many, many of which are vital for Christians to heed now. Yes, and Amen. But, for the Omniscient God of Love and mercy and justice, it was only a prelude to His New and "more glorious" Covenant (II Cor.3:7-14) which was open equally to Jew and Gentile alike throughout the populations of the entire world.
This idea of being equal with Gentiles in God’s eyes makes Jews furious. No way, they say! We alone are God’s chosen people, and we alone will rule and reign over the whole world with our messiah (the State of Israel to Zionists). The Jews’ most holy books (Talmud/ZoharKabbala)--always ranked above the Bible by the Rabbis--label Jesus "a bastard...who is boiling in semen and excrement in hell, and whose New Testament is "nothing but blank paper". [See: Talmud]
Much is heard today of a One World Government being just around the corner. This is not just a rumor; a OWG is imminent. Most amazingly though, just such a global government was prophesied over 1900 years ago in the Bible (Rev.13:7; 17:12, 13, and 18)! This Government--which will be headquartered in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:8)--will be a Satan-empowered operation (Rev.13:2b, 4). This government will experience a crescendo of God’s wrath upon willful transgressors, but it will endure thru the Fall of Babylon ("one hour",2-3 months) plus the 3-1/2 year reign of the Beast (Rev. 13:5 through the 7 Trumpet Plagues, with Armageddon on the last day). [See: Armageddon] Then follows a "little season" (Rev. 20:3)) which is equal to another 3+ years, thus accounting for Daniel's postponed 70th week. Then the Rapture will come, followed by the general resurrection (John 5:28, 19). This, in turn, is followed by the utter destruction of the earth (II Pet. 3:10-14; Rev. 20:11; etc.) All of this happens on the last day of this earth’s history. All this transpires without a Scriptural hint of Jesus being king on this earth and without any reference whatsoever as to the fate of the alleged millennial kingdom!!
That is a pretty big oversight on the part of the Holy Spirit of Truth, don’t you think?!
Pre-tribulation Rapture Millennialist teaching--now flooding the theaters as well as the book stores and pulpits and TV--with its "Left Behind" distortion of Scripture, is an indispensable part of Satan’s plans for completing his One World Government agenda. That agenda is the eradication of New Testament Christianity (and the fulfilling of the teachings of the Talmud, the Kabbala, and the Zohar!). Millennialists hype their "left behind" books, movies, videos, etc., as a great warning to people to get saved so they can be raptured out and not be "left behind" to be caught in all the trouble coming upon the world. They are blind to the Scriptural fact that the Rapture of I Thessalonians 4:13-18 can only happen on the last day of this earth’s history. They ignore the fact that the "left behind" doctrine is less than 200 years old, and that millions of Bible Christians don’t believe it for the best of reasons, namely, because it forces Jesus to do what He wouldn’t do when He walked in Judea and because the doctrine fundamentally leads to the denial of the central teaching of the New Testament as far as the Jews are concerned, to wit:
"...If ye be Christ’s THEN are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Gal.3:29)
The Rapture is not going to involve some mysterious disappearance of a lot of people with those "left behind" trying to figure out what happened! That is ridiculous! The Rapture is not a quiet, secret event, wherein the world’s populations don’t know what is going on. On the contrary:
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven WITH A SHOUT, with the VOICE OF THE ARCHANGEL, and WITH THE TRUMPET OF GOD:
and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (I Thess. 4:16)
Everyone on earth is going to hear and know and see what happens. There is going to be no mysterious disappearance...no one wondering what happened to so-and-so. Those "left behind" when the Rapture takes place on the very last day of this earth’s history are not people who can be converted and saved either. They will have had that opportunity years before when the Fall of Babylon occurred and God’s people were called out (Rev.18:4). Those "left behind" at the Rapture will be destroyed by "fire which comes down from God out of heaven, and devours them" (Rev. 20:9). Their next appearance will be at The White Throne Judgment and the "second death" (Rev. 20:12-15).
So, what if the entire "Left Behind" blockbuster media effort is a distortion of all Scriptures having to do with "The Rapture"? Does this have anything to do with whether Jesus is King now or whether He is coming to be King??
It has everything to do with that issue! The "Left Behind" message being hyped to the hilt in the most visible Christian media is an inseparable part of Millennialist Doctrine which says that God’s plan to make Jesus King in the first century was foiled and was postponed to a time yet future to the present date. The success of this Millennialist teaching depends to a very great extent on persuading Christians that they not only are going to avoid the terrible times under a Satan-worshipping World Government by being raptured away for seven years, but that they also will be brought back to Jerusalem by Jesus to rule with Him for a thousand years.
Other links and books demonstrate the Scriptural impossibility of the Pre-tribulation Millennialist teaching.[See: New-Renew, Ret-Earth, Millennialism: A Doctrine of Devils] The point here is to give yet one more reason for Christians to wake up to the Scripturally certified fact that this teaching is a lie designed to prevent them from knowing that they will not be raptured away to miss the tribulation, nor will they be ruling and reigning with Jesus Who will have become King at the end of the ”great parenthesis" (plus seven years). Didn't the Holy Spirit make it clear over 1900 years ago that "[The Father] hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son" (Col. 1:13)?? Jesus was made King over an everlasting kingdom long, long ago where He has been "the blessed and only Potentate [Masons take note], the King of kings, and Lord of lords" (I Tim. 6:15). Therefore, let those who claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior say: "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth (present tense 1900+ years ago) upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever [not 1000 years]. (Revelation 5:13)
So: Keeping in mind the Scriptural proof that there is to be no "Re-newed" earth for Jesus to return to and rule, and that no Scripture says He will actually set foot on this earth when He does return, let’s look at several more Scriptures which demonstrate beyond doubt that the Bible teaches that Jesus was King before His Ascension, and that all else is deception:
Jesus said: "ALL power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matt. 28:18).
Q. When did Jesus say that?
A. Just before He was taken up in a cloud. (Acts 1:9)
Q. When did He actually get that power over everything?
A. Very shortly after that moment in the cemetery following His resurrection when He told Mary Magdalene: "Touch me not; for I have not yet ascended to my Father..."(Jn. 20:16, 17).
Q. But He said He had been given (by the Father) ALL power in heaven and earth before He ascended in sight of the Apostles (Acts 1:9), so when exactly could that have happened?
A. It happened between the time He warned Mary Magdalene not to touch Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father and a few minutes later when, still in the cemetery, He met several of the women coming to the tomb and said: "All hail. And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him" (Matt.28:9). If Scripture--and not man’s teaching--is to be followed, Jesus ascended to the Father and received His coronation as King with ALL power over not just the earth, but the heavens also (as other Scripture attests, e.g., I Pet.3:22; Col.2:10; Eph.1:20-22; etc.) in those minutes between the time when He couldn’t be touched and when He could be and was touched.
Consider yet again Jesus’ response to the Pharisees who asked: "...when the kingdom of God should come"?, and He replied: "The Kingdom of God cometh NOT with observation [no one can see it]" (Luke 17:20). (That verse alone ought to give Millennialists the heeby jeebies!) Jesus then followed that with: "Neither shall they say Lo here! [Jerusalem] or, lo there! [anywhere else] for behold, The Kingdom of God is within you" (v.21).
The Bible plainly teaches that God’s Kingdom on this earth is not something that can be seen in Jerusalem or anywhere else because that kingdom is within a person. Either that or Jesus lied.
But, did that kind of kingdom come when Jesus walked in Galilee and Jerusalem?
Jesus said it did when He said this to a group of people:
If I with the finger [power] of God cast out devils, NO DOUBT [that proves] the Kingdom of God is come upon YOU. (Luke 11:20)
Jesus was casting out devils by God’s power. The Kingdom had come, and so had its King! He just hadn’t ascended to the Father to be given ALL power and authority at that point!
Further confirmation of Jesus’ kingship even before the resurrection is seen in His entrance into Jerusalem shortly before the crucifixion:
Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. (Matt.21:5)
The Holy Spirit didn’t lie here when He called Jesus the people’s King, did He??
Luke adds this to the same scene:
Blessed be the King, that cometh in the name of the LORD. (Luke 19:38)
It appears that God thought that His Son was already King over the kind of Kingdom that He was sent to establish (not the kind the Pharisees wanted and Millennialists are duped into helping today’s Pharisees bring into being!).
Jesus told Pilate that He had a kingdom, but that it wasn’t one to be seen in this world:
My kingdom is not of this world [!]: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.... (John 18:36)
Pilate then asked Jesus: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end I was born, and for this cause
came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth [understands] my voice. (John 18:37)
Jesus says flatly that the very reason for Him being born into this world was to be King and to bear witness to that and all other truths.
Pilate tried to find a way to let Jesus go, but the Jews wouldn’t have it. Pilate said to the Jews:
Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. (John 19:14, 15)
Jesus said He was King; Pilate confirmed it; the Jews rejected it and insisted that they had no king but Caesar. Who was truthful, the Jews or Jesus (and Pilate)??
At 9 AM Jesus was crucified. The Apostle Matthew reports on the message that was written and hung over His head on the cross:
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. (Matthew 27:37)
The chief priests of the Jews told Pilate not to let the sign stay with that message:
Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. (John 19:21,22)
Again, did the fact that the Jews denied that Jesus was their King cause Him not to be their King? Did this denial and rejection cause God to postpone His Son’s kingship for almost 2000 years and counting? That is what Millennialist doctrine would have us believe.
Jesus--seated at the right hand of the Father with ALL power--has allowed Satan to be on a long leash for almost twenty centuries. He has allowed Satan to be "...the god of this world..." (II Cor. 4:4) and "...prince of this world..."(Jn.12:31; 14:30) and to claim "...all the kingdoms of the world..." (Matt. 4:8, 9) But since that resurrection day in the cemetery when Jesus went to the Father and received "ALL power over heaven and earth" Satan has been subject to that power at all times, for Jesus is not just King of the Jews (whether they like it or not), He is--in God The Father's Plan: Acts15:18)--King of Kings and Lord of Lords with ALL power over everybody and everything!
At the onset of the 7th Trumpet, Jesus reigns in the leash, and Satan’s kingdoms...
"...become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ" (Rev.11; 15).
Jesus doesn’t just start being King at that point. Rather, He just removes Satan (actually, binds him; cf.Rev.20:2, 3) and begins to exercise in a very specific way the great power that He had all along. Read it:
...We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou has taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. (Rev.11:15)
So, to sum up: Jesus is not coming to earth to be King and reign for a literal thousand years or even the figurative few months of the 7th Trumpet period which is the "thousand years" when Satan is bound. Jesus is now King of kings and Lord of lords and has been so since even before His public ascension and official coronation by His Father! He has been sitting on David’s Throne a long time. Everything has been upheld by His power since His resurrection and subsequent ascension to the Father. He has just allowed Satan to be god of this world and to control its kingdoms as part of God’s perfect plan, i.e., until He binds him, takes his kingdoms away, and begins to exercise His Kingly power without interruption while God’s vengeance (promised to the martyrs) is poured out during the seven bowl/vial plagues of the 7th Trumpet time frame. [See: Armageddon, 7th Trumpet]
Another aspect of the kingship of Jesus can be seen "one hour" after the One World Government Gang gets their briefcases open. God will allow that Government to come into being, spreading its message of a humanist/paganistic utopia that is presently about to envelop the globe. [See: Paganism Pt 1, Paganism Pt 2]. Knowing its real intent of destroying New Testament Christianity and Jesus the Christ upon which it is built, God sends an irresistible Truth Blitzkrieg that exposes the satanic deceptions underpinning that cardboard utopia. The "called, chosen, and faithful" of Christ’s Church--purged of its deceptions and led by God’s Two Witnesses (Rev.11)--lead this Blitzkrieg, and, in short order (c. 2-3 months) "The Lamb shall overcome them" (Rev.17:14). This is the Fall of Babylon. It is led by King Jesus working thru His "called, chosen, and faithful" followers. He has not set foot on this earth, nor does He set foot on this earth to achieve this victory...this unmasking of the Satanic empowerment behind the One World Government coming as "an angel of light" as we speak.
The progression of events from the Fall of Babylon thru the Seven Trumpet Plagues and on to the "little season" of Satan’s loosing, and the events of the last day of this earth’s history are easy to follow once one gets rid of the merciless kneading of allegedly-related Old Testament Scriptures involved in not only the Millennialist eschatology, but Preterit eschatology as well. Several links and short books [See: God's End Time Drama, The Rapture: The Question is WHEN, Millennialism: A Doctrine of Devils, The Preterit View: Straining at a Gnat and Swallowing a Camel] line out those events and won’t be reviewed here.
Finally, something that is of major importance at this point concerning the King or Coming King idea can begin to be grasped best, I think, by considering a few verses in I Corinthians 15:
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made live. But every man after his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming. Then 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. For He must REIGN, till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For HE [Father God] hath put all things under His [Jesus’] feet. But when HE saith all things are put under Him, it is manifest that HE [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under Him. And 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 [the Father] MAY BE ALL IN ALL. (I Cor.15:21-28)
The Living Bible rendition of SOME of these verses is clear and accurate and helpful. Comments in italics are inserted where needed:
Death came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man (Christ) has done that now there is the resurrection from the dead. Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, being members of his sinful race, and wherever there is sin, death results. But all who are related to Christ will rise again. Each, however, in his own turn: Christ rose first; then when Christ comes back, all His people will become alive again.
(*Last 4 lines are true, but only the Rapture is included. This ignores the general resurrection [of John 5:28, 29] where multitudes of non-Christians are resurrected, including "those who have done good" who also are "resurrected to life".)
After that the end will come when he [Jesus] will turn the kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind. For Christ will be King until He has defeated His enemies, including the last enemy--death. This too must be defeated and ended. For the rule and authority over all things has been given to Christ by the Father; except, of course, Christ does not rule over the Father Himself, who gave him [Jesus] the power to rule. When Christ has finally won the battle over all His enemies, then He, the Son of God, will put Himself also under His Father’s orders, so that GOD [the Father] Who has given Him the victory over everything else WILL BE UTTERLY SUPREME.
Fitting this in with what has gone before, what we see relevant to King Jesus and His Kingdom is something that can be fully understood in this humble analogy:
Think of the Earth and the entire universe as being analogous to an enterprise, a business, a store, if you will. God the Father and His Son created it from scratch. They had a plan that would produce an evil-free eternal paradise on a New Earth with New Heavens for those men and women who had hearts for loving good and hating evil as they do. The first Earth is the setting for working out who would live forever with God and His Son on the New Earth. In order to be totally fair and just toward all mankind, God knew that only by personal experience away from His "ivory tower" could He fairly judge mankind. The Plan called for God the Father to stay in heaven and send His Son to be born of a woman like everybody else, to be a child, to become a man, and to prove His unwavering obedience and subordination to His Father to make the Plan work.
Jesus--who always declared that His Father was greater than He (Jn.14:28) [See: Trinity-condensed, Trinity-Clarification]--was obedient unto death on the cross. In recognition of the Son’s faithfulness Jesus has been King over everything since He ascended to the Father in the cemetery. Since His public ascension, He has been sitting at the Father’s right hand, having the title of God "the Almighty" (Rev.1:8) UNTIL all evil is defeated. Father God’s Plan called for putting His Son in charge of the "store" if He proved faithful unto death. The Son would be permitted to be honored as God and reign as King UNTIL HE (the Father) had subdued and put all enemies under His (Jesus') feet (Mark 12:36; Acts 2:35; etc.). At that point, as noted above, The Son "delivers up the Kingdom to the Father", and voluntarily "subjects Himself to the Father", in order that "God the Father may be all in all".
Father God trained His Son to run the store...to be King. When Jesus proved Himself, the "store" was totally turned over to Him to run as King until the time comes for Him to return the store to His Father again and be subject to HIM. Lord Jesus--the Alpha and Omega; the Lamb of God; the root and offspring of David, the Almighty--has an eternal throne with the Father (Rev. 22:1, 3) on the New Earth where He will be honored eternally [See: Trinity-Clarification].
That is what these verses teach. That is what those hundreds of millions who recognize Jesus as a Prophet but not as the Son of God need to understand about the Christian religion. Jesus voluntarily subjects Himself to God the Father from beginning to end in the New Testament. Because of this subjection and obedience, the Father made Him King and Lord over everything from the time just after His resurrection until the time that all His enemies--death included--are put under His feet. Then God’s Plan calls for Jesus to return all authority and power back to HIM, i.e., the Father. This Jesus does, or the Scriptures lie. He then reigns with the Father forever as the eternally revered only begotten and first Son amongst a multitude of adopted but equal Children of God the Father. What a Son! What a King! What a Lord! What a Brother! What a Friend we have in Jesus!
The teaching that the Kingship of Jesus was thwarted because of the Pharisees’ rejection, and that His Rule as King was postponed till a time still future, is a teaching promoted far and wide by men (some honestly deceived, some Satan's ministers preaching Christ: II Cor.11:13-15), but denied by Scripture. Jesus has been King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all power in heaven and earth since He ascended to the Father in the cemetery in the time between "Touch me not..." (Jn.20:16, 17) and "They came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him..."(Mt.28:9). Jesus will continue to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all power over heaven and earth until all enemies (Satan, demons, death) are defeated and eternity on the New Earth is ready to begin. He then will subject Himself to the Father so that the Father can "be all in all" forever while Jesus has His own special position and throne as the Father’s Only Begotten Son, the brother of an innumerable host of adopted brothers and sisters, made joint heirs and Children of God because He is the God of Love and Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb of God whose obedience on the cross made it all possible.
Thus, the whole centuries-long warfare in the Christian Churches over Arianism vs. Athanasianism has been a satanic mock battle serving his ends and contributing to the millennialist confusion about Jesus’ Kingship.
The Scriptural facts are not very complicated. Note:
Jesus was born to be King (Matt.2:2), but He was not born King. He was not King when He started His ministry nor when He was baptized by John (Mark 1:10), nor when He spent 40 days in the wilderness (vs.12, 13). But the Kingdom was fast approaching:
Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled,
and the kingdom of God is AT HAND: repent ye, and believe the gospel. (Mark 1:14, 15)
As a careful study of the Biblical descriptions of the phrases "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" will show, they are used interchangeably to designate not one, not two, but three different kinds of Kingdoms. 1) One Kingdom refers to a temporary operation that is carried out on earth, but is in the hearts of people and cannot be seen. 2) A second reference is to the kingdom that Jesus established in Israel in the first century. 3) The third reference is to the eternal Kingdom on the New Earth.
Scriptures for the first reference have been noted and are basically summed up in the remarks of Jesus in Luke 17:20, 21:
And when He [Jesus] was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered and said: 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 second reference is the one we are most interested in here, as it is the one which declares that Jesus was King of the Jews when He walked there, and that He is not coming to be King (as the Millennialist teaching heard everywhere declares).
The Old Testament prophesy given by Zechariah (9:9) spells out in detail an event that was fulfilled precisely over 500 years later. Note:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation:
lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Here we see clearly prophesied that the King [the messiah] that the Jews were looking for when Jesus came (and some Jews are still looking for) would be identified in a very particular and special way as He entered Jerusalem. Then over five centuries later "much people" gathered in Jerusalem, strewing palm branches in Jesus’ path and crying out:
Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the LORD... Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. (John 11:13, 15)
That is a precise fulfillment of Scripture. There is no Scripture that cancels or postpones this fulfillment. Let’s continue....
When Jesus astonished Nathanael by telling him something He could not humanly have known (John 1:48); his response is written:
Nathanael answered and said unto Him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (v.49)
Mark’s Gospel of the same event is even more instructive on the big question of whether Jesus has been King on David’s throne all along or whether He is yet to come and claim that throne and be King. Note as Jesus comes into Jerusalem on the colt:
And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the LORD: Blessed be the Kingdom of Our Father David, that cometh in the name of the LORD: Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:9, 10)
Mary was told by Gabriel to expect this very thing:
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the LORD God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob [Israel] for ever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:31-33)
We’ve already seen that Jesus was called King of Israel, and now we see that Scripture promises Him the throne of David before He was conceived, and that the promise was confirmed as He rode into Jerusalem on the colt. Jesus is not coming to be King and sit on David’s throne, as Millennialism teaches; He is now and has been King on that throne for almost 2000 years.
That Jesus was declared King over Israel by God in spite of Pharisaic rejection is scripturally certain. That Jesus--acting always under Father God’s directions-- took the kingdom away from the Jews is also scripturally certain. Note:
Therefore say I [Jesus] unto you [chief priests and elders], The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation [people] bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matt. 21:43)
So we can mark this down: The Kingdom was not the earthly one the Jews demanded of "their" messiah. They rejected the Kingdom Jesus established but that Kingdom WAS NOT ENDED OR POSTPONED. Rather, that Kingdom was established and Jesus was established as King over it. When the Kingdom was taken from the Jews and given to a people ("whosoever will") it continued to be a Kingdom. Just as surely, Jesus continued to be King over that Kingdom. It has been so since that time. Jesus is not returning to be King over a Kingdom which He has ruled since that time, and He most assuredly is not returning to be King over a Pharisee-honoring earthly Kingdom which He died to expose as against God’s Will the first time. Rabbinic religion which hates Jesus knows full well that the Zionist control of pre-trib rapture millennialist dispensationalist Christian evangelism is a fulfillment of their own anti-Christ Kabalistic/Talmudism and an utter distortion of the New Testament which they hate and burn publicly. [See: Talmud]
Recalling then the indisputable evidence that the Scriptures teach a "NEW" and not a "re-newed" earth; [See: New-Renew] that Jesus’ return will be in the clouds but that He never sets foot on this earth again; [See: Ret-Earth] and now that He has been King of the Jews since early in the first century and that there has been no postponement of that Kingdom (only a postponement of Daniel's final week of seven years to end this earth's history), it should be abundantly clear that the origin of the millennialist eschatology is from a source other than the Bible (I Tim.4:1b).
Numerous other Scriptures confirm all the above; still it is also important to understand the other applications of "the Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven" terminologies as they relate to falsifying millennialist doctrine. To that end, we turn briefly to the third Scriptural connotation of the "kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God" terminologies, that is, to their references relating to the scripturally defined nature of the Kingship of Father God and Jesus on the eternal New Earth....
As was shown on previous pages, the passage from I Corinthians 15:21-29 makes clear that when Jesus has put down all authority and power, His reign ends and He dutifully subjects Himself to His Father’s rule and hegemony over everything. If we look closely, we can see that Isaiah prophesied about all of these three kinds of kingships and even the confirmation of turning absolute rule back to the Father when all enemies have been defeated. Notice Isaiah 9:6, 7...
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder [He will rule]: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, *the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of 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 justice from henceforth even forever.
Christ’s rule of everything (His government) seated on David’s throne started after His "private" ascension following His resurrection, as we’ve seen. Jesus relinquishes His absolute control of everything and voluntarily subjects Himself to God the Father, when all enemies are defeated (I Cor. 15:24). BUT, Jesus continues to sit on David’s Throne as King throughout eternity because His government has no end. HE will always be the Wonderful Counselor, and perhaps even the "mighty God" and the Prince of Peace. But, in light of the Scriptures, can He continue to be "The everlasting Father"?! Jehovah God rewarded His obedient Son even with that title when HE gave HIM [Jesus] "all power over heaven and earth" (Mt.28:18; I Pet.1:22). But, when Jesus subjects Himself to the Father and turns absolute power back over to HIM, it is clear that both Father and Son cannot be "The everlasting Father". So, how can Scripture call Jesus "The everlasting Father"??
The resolution to this seeming conundrum in seen in the Hebrew meaning of the word translated "everlasting" in English. In Hebrew the word "everlasting" (#5703) means: "properly, a (peremptory) terminus". "Peremptory" means: "imperative", "not debatable", "decisive or final". And, of course, the word "terminus" means: "the end or extremity of anything; a boundary or limit," an end, just as Scripture says, and this terminus is imperative, final, and beyond debate. That particular characterization of Jesus terminates when He returns absolute control over everything back to Father God who then is "The everlasting Father" eternally.
All the other titles Jesus has as ruler in eternity He keeps "for ever". (This word, we recall, is #5769 in the Hebrew Concordance, and--like "everlasting" has the unusual capability of describing either something that has a beginning and an end or something that has no end. The choice of meanings depends on the demands of the subject to which it is applied; assuring that there will be no contradictions to other Scriptures. Thus, the meaning in this instance and on this subject requires the connotation of eternally unending.)
All of this tells us that Jesus does rule a Kingdom on the eternal New Earth. His remarks to His Disciples on that subject at the Last Supper confirm that conclusion:
Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations; And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:28-30)
Note to what the thief on the cross next to Jesus said:
...remember me when thou comest into thy Kingdom. (Luke 23:42)
Since both were to be dead in a short time, the Kingdom referred to here is obviously the eternal heavenly one and not any imagined millennial kingdom.
These other confirmations that King Jesus will continue to be King with a Kingdom in eternity (even though He will subject Himself to Jehovah God’s ultimate control over everything) make the point beyond question, it would seem:
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ AND of God.
Note this from II Timothy 4:1:
I [Paul] charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom.
II Peter 1:11 speaks directly to this point as well:
...For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So, what we’ve seen here is a Scriptural delineation of three separate Kingdoms in which Christ is King. He has been King of the Jews since He walked in Jerusalem. He has been King and God over the present earth and universe with all power since minutes after His resurrection. His Kingdom on the eternal New Earth is everlasting but is not the same as His Father’s "all in all" Kingship over everything eternal.
That the Father’s eternal kingdom and not an earthly millennium is what we are told to pray for in the familiar "Lord’s Prayer" is readily apparent, if we lay aside our millennial bias for a few minutes. Notice that this example of how to pray as given by Jesus is addressed to "Our Father". We know it is the Father’s Kingdom that we are to pray for because Jesus said "Thy kingdom come", not "my" kingdom come. Further on, Jesus says: "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." Jesus said "the kingdom is thine for ever"; He didn’t tell people to pray for a kingdom "that will be mine for a thousand years". No. He said in plain language: "Father, the Kingdom is yours forever." Matthew’s account: "Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven" has "it is" in italics meaning those words are added in from the original text. Luke’s account reads: "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." In both accounts there are only two interpretations which match other Scriptures on the subject, and neither of these interpretations refer--nor can they refer--to a mythical millennial kingdom which simply does not exist in Scripture.
The first and more contextual of the two is that the "earth" mentioned is the New Earth where God the Father plainly states that He will dwell with man (Rev.21:3), where He is "all in all" and His Kingdom is forever. The words "...as it is in heaven "(Matt.) or "as in heaven" (Luke) further reinforce the "new earth" reading here because the alleged millennial kingdom has all sorts of limitations ("animal sacrifices"..."rule with a rod of iron", etc.) that emphatically are not "as it is in heaven"!
The other interpretation again insists that the reference to "earth" has to mean the "new earth which I will make"(Is.66:22) because it is there alone that we are assured that there will be no pain, crying, and death. Jesus wasn’t telling Christians to pray that these benefits which are reserved for the eternal New Earth would become a part of life on this earth if they prayed for them, was He?! He wouldn’t do that. He knew that those people He was addressing--and all the generations since--weren’t going to get those benefits that will only be available when this earth dissolves and flees away and is replaced by the promised eternal New Earth. It would have been cynical and cruel for Jesus to tell people to pray for what He knew they were never to get on this earth. He didn’t do that. Knowing that pain and death would continue until the end (Rev.20:14), and that it was only to be in God the Father’s "all in all" Kingdom where there would be no pain, crying, and death (21:4), Jesus urged people to pray for that eternal Heavenly Kingdom, not for some imagined millennial kingdom which would not stop their pain or death...but only postpone it. Understood this way, Jesus’ model prayer is totally consistent with other unmistakably plain Bible teachings, such as Colossians 3:2: "Set your affections on things above, NOT on things on the earth" and several Scriptures which say that tribulations (not heavenly conditions!) will be man’s lot on earth (Acts 14:22; Jn.16:33; Rom. 8:35; 5:3; I Thess.3:3, 4; Rev.2:9; etcetera.)
Thus we find that no matter where we turn in the Bible, we discover that the millennialist teaching (that Jesus is coming to be king and rule on this earth from Jerusalem for a thousand years) is a major distortion of the Scriptures that is preventing multitudes of Christians from understanding God’s real plan for bringing this earth’s history to a close. Along with the pre-tribulation Rapture misteaching, the millennial kingdom doctrine is leading these multiplied millions of Christians into God’s true end time scenario totally unprepared for what they are going to face....
For more Scriptural evidence declaring Millennialist Doctrine to be a deception, read "No Day and Night In Heaven?"