I. There are widespread opinions as to the nature of “The Kingdom” (thy Kingdom come, Matt 6:10). Also, does the Kingdom enter God’s people, or do God’s people enter the Kingdom? What exactly is the Kingdom? In this article, we will address these, and other questions that relate to the Kingdom. We will also include an article that was written by the Middletown Bible Church, of Middletown, CT. The Middletown article is in agreement with several of my most highly respected pastors, theologians, authors and seminary professors, such as Drs. Jimmy DeYoung, Ed Hindson, Mark Hitchcock, David Hocking, David Jeremiah, Tim LaHaye, J. Dwight Pentecost, Ron Rhodes, Michael Rydelnik, and many others of their understanding of end times prophecy.
II. Let’s start with an answer to the question about the Kingdom. There is a universal kingdom, where God’s keeps Jupiter from bumping into Mars (Psalm 103:19). There is also a theocratic Kingdom, where God rules the inhabitants of the Earth through a theocratic administrator. Such theocratic administrators were, beginning with Adam (Gen 1:26-28), until he fell (Gen 3:6, 17-19. Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:23), and Satan became the ruler of the world (Luke 4:5-8; John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; 2 Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; 1 John 5:19).
III. In review, the universal kingdom is eternal, comprehensive, under God’s direct rule, and always in existence. By contrast, the theocratic kingdom is futuristic, earthly, under God’s indirect rule, and conditional.
IV. What is the storyline of the Bible?” It is how the office of theocratic administrator is restored through the messianic Kingdom. God originally intended to indirectly govern through the physical world through the first Adam; He will, one day, govern the world through the Last Adam, or God the Son.
V. The restoration of the physical kingdom, or office of Theocratic Administrator, as the dominant theme of the Bible, has long been recognized by numerous theologians. Note Charles Ryrie’s explanation (VI.)
VI. “Why is an earthly kingdom necessary? Did He (Jesus) not receive His inheritance when He was raised and exalted in heaven? Why does there need to to be an earthly kingdom? Because, He must be triumphant “in the same arena” where He was seemingly defeated. His rejection by the rulers of this world was on earth (1 Cor 2:8). His exaltation must also be on this earth. And, so it shall be when He comes again to rule this world in righteousness. He has waited long for His inheritance; soon, He shall receive it.” (Note of Dr. Charles Ryrie).
VII. After the Fall in Eden (Gen 3), the theocratic kingdom left the earth. This departure left the world without the benefit of the office of Theocratic Administrator, until the time of Moses. Because this is the first reference to the term “kingdom,” in relation to God’s kingdoms in all of the Bible, it is reasonable to conclude that the office of Theocratic Administrator was restored to the earth, at least in a limited sense, at Sinai (Exodus 19:5- 6), “you shall be a “kingdom” of priests to me, a “kingdom” of priests and a holy nation. Just as God governed indirectly through Adam in Eden, God now began to rule indirectly over Israel through His Theocratic Administrator, Moses. This theocratic arrangement covered most of Old Testament history, as God, even after the time of Moses, governed the world through Joshua, and then various judges, and finally Israel’s various kings.
VIII. Let us now consider key aspects of the theocratic kingdom, such as, “do we enter the kingdom, or does the kingdom enter us?” Consider the discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus. The discussion is quick, and to the point:
John 3:3, Jesus said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
IX. Let’s consider other discussions of Jesus and the subject of the kingdom:
A. Matthew 5:20, “unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
B. Matthew 7:21, ““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven,”
C. Matthew 18:3, “and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
D. Matthew 19:23, And Jesus said “it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
E. Matthew 25:34, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (The King is Jesus).
F. Let’s consider a verse that is often taken out of context, Luke 17:21. I will show different translations:
1.KJV/NKJ: “the kingdom of God is within you.”
2. CSB/NASB/NET/NIV “the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
3. The context of the passage is shown, as follows” Luke 17:20-21 (NASB 1995)
20 Now having been questioned by the Pharisees as to when the kingdom of God was coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; 21 nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or, ‘There it is!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
a. Comment (Mine): The Pharisees hardly were people who had been born again (John 3:3), or who had the Kingdom within them.
b. Comment (Ryrie Study Bible): The necessary elements of the kingdom were present, and needed only to be recognized. It can not mean “within you,” for the kingdom certainly was unconnected with the Pharisees to whom Jesus was speaking.
4. It is evident that the kingdom is something where, “we enter into,” and not something which “enters into us.”
5. What is it that “enters into us?”
a. 1 Corinthians 6:19 “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God.”
b. Note (Moody Bible Commentary) ” believers belong to God who indwells them through the Spirit.”
c. The subject of the Gospel of Matthew is the offer of the Kingdom to nation Israel. Consider the following three verses:
(1) Matthew 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17, “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 10:6-7, 6 but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Consider Luke 10:1, the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him. 10:2, And He was saying to them, 10:9, The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
(2) In each case notice that no explanation of the kingdom was given, or was asked. The reason is that Jews had already been taught abut the kingdom. Consider such a teaching from 2 Samuel 7:8-16, concerning God’s covenant with David. Consider the note from the MacArthur Study Bible.
d. In the verses about the offer of the kingdom, the kingdom was said to be, “near, but not here.” In order for the kingdom to have been “here,” Israel must have necessarily received Jesus as God’s choice of king, per Deuteronomy 17:15.
e. These verses state the promises the Lord gave to David. Verses 8–11a give the promises to be realized during David’s lifetime. Verses 11b–16 state the promises that would be fulfilled after David’s death. During David’s lifetime, the Lord: 1) gave David “a great name” (see note on Gen. 12:2); 2) appointed a place for Israel; and 3) gave David “rest” from all his enemies. After David’s death, the Lord gave David: 1) a son to sit on his national throne, whom the Lord would oversee as a father with necessary chastening, discipline, and mercy (Solomon); and 2) a Son who would rule a kingdom that will be established forever (Messiah). This prophecy referred in its immediacy to Solomon and to the temporal kingdom of David’s family in the land. But in a larger and more sublime sense, it refers to David’s greater Son of another nature, Jesus Christ (cf. Heb. 1:8).
6. In the Davidic Covenant, we see promises from God to David of “Land, seed, and blessing,” which was stated in the Abrahamic Covenant of Genesis 12:2. The offer of the kingdom was taken off the table when Israel rejected Jesus in Matthew 12:24. From Matthew 13, forward, Jesus began teaching his disciples “privately”
a. Matthew 13:10-11, 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
b. Matthew 24:3 “As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
7. Jesus taught the disciples “privately,” about the Kingdom (Matt 13), and about the tribulation (Matt 24). The kingdom had not come. The tribulation had not yet come, which must precede the kingdom, with the Antichrist breaking a covenant with Israel, midway through the tribulation (Dan 9:24-27).
8. After the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, our Lord spent forty days with His disciples, concerning the things concerning the kingdom (Acts 1:3). Prior to our Lord’s ascension to heaven, his disciples asked Him if the kingdom was going to be restored to Israel, per 2 Sam 7:8-16, “at this time” (Acts 1:6). The kingdom “had not come.” Jesus said that The Father had determined such a time, which had not come (Matt 6:9-10).
9. There is no kingdom now; as there is no king (Jesus) on the throne in Jerusalem. Preceding the kingdom, will be tribulation (Matt 24:4-28), followed by the second coming of Christ from heaven to earth with His saints and angels (Matt 24:29-30; Zech 14:1-5, 9; Rev 19:11-21), followed by Judgment of those who were left behind, or were born in the tribulation (Matt 25:31-34) followed by the blessings of the millennial age of the kingdom (Matt 25:46b; Rev 20:6).
10. Middletown Bible Church, of Middletown, CT provides the following information.
a. Please note: Progressive Dispensationalists teach that when Christ ascended to the right hand of God, He sat down on the throne of David. Thus they teach that 1) Christ is now sitting on David’s throne, the Davidic kingdom having been already inaugurated; 2) David’s throne is now located in the third heaven.
b. Let us now search the Scriptures to see what God says about David’s throne, where it is located and when the Messiah will sit on it.
1) “The LORD hath sworn in truth unto DAVID; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon THY (DAVID’S) THRONE. If thy children will keep My covenant and My testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon THY THRONE for evermore” (Psalm 132:11-12).
a) The passage above speaks of David’s throne. Where will David’s throne be located? “For the LORD hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation….There will I make the HORN OF DAVID to bud: I have ordained a lamp for Mine anointed (Psalm 132:13,17).
b) David’s throne will be located in Zion (Jerusalem), not in the third heaven. It is there in Zion that God will cause the horn of David to spring up.
2) “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 with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:7).
What will conditions be like when the Messiah sits on the throne of David? At that time the earth’s government will be upon His shoulders (Isaiah 9:6) and the earth will enjoy peace as the Prince of Peace sits upon David’s throne. Such conditions are certainly not found during this present church age.
3) “Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the THRONE OF DAVID, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of JERUSALEM: and this city shall remain for ever” (Jeremiah 17:25).
The only way to get to David’s throne is by way of the gates of the city of Jerusalem (see also verses 19-24).
4) “And say, Hear the word of the LORD, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the THRONE OF DAVID, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the THRONE OF DAVID, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people” (Jeremiah 22:2,4).
a) “Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, SITTING UPON THE THRONE OF DAVID, and ruling any more in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:30).
b) David’s throne is in Jerusalem of Judah, on earth, not in heaven.
5) “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto DAVID a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice IN THE EARTH. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His Name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
When will the Messiah be upon David’s throne? This will take place when Messiah the King reigns and executes justice IN THE EARTH. At this time Israel will dwell safely. This can only mean that Christ will sit on David’s throne during His millennial reign and not before.
6) “In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up UNTO DAVID; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness IN THE LAND” (Jeremiah 33:15).
a) “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness” (Jeremiah 33:16).
b) The TIME when the Messiah will assume the throne of David is here pinpointed, as well as the PLACE. The TIME: the millennial reign of Christ when righteousness will characterize the earth and when peace and safety will characterize Jerusalem. The PLACE: “in the land,” that is ON THE EARTH, in the city of Jerusalem.
7) “Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before Me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually….Then may also My covenant be broken with DAVID My servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon HIS THRONE; and WITH THE LEVITES the priests, My ministers (Jeremiah 33:18,21).
The throne of David is here associated with Levitical priests. Christ cannot be upon the throne of David apart from an association with Levitical priests. During this present age there are no functioning Levitical priests. During the millennium Levitical/Zadokian priests will be associated with Christ and serving in the millennial temple (Ezekiel 40:46; 43:19; 44:15; 48:11).
8) “And DAVID My servant shall be KING over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell IN THE LAND that I have given unto Jacob My servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and My servant DAVID shall be their PRINCE for ever” (Ezekiel 37:24-25).
a) The resurrected David, who is called both KING and PRINCE, will be directly involved in the millennial government, serving under Christ: “Directly under Christ, having authority over all Israel, will be the resurrected David, who is given both titles of king and prince. He will be king because he will rule over Israel, but he will be a prince in that he will be under the authority of Christ” (Arnold Fruchtenbaum, The Footprints of the Messiah, page 282). See Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:23-24 and Hosea 3:5.
b) These passages are often explained in a non-literal way as referring not to David himself, but to David’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, though the literal interpretation is to be preferred. But regardless of this, during this present church age we are never told that David is reigning as King or as Prince. David the future king/prince is only mentioned in a millennial, earthly, Jewish context.
9) “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and DAVID their king; and shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days” (Hosea 3:4-5).
Today Israel is without a king and Christ is not ruling on the throne of David. In the future Israel will return and seek the Lord. At that time they will not be without a King. Their King will be on David’s throne in Jerusalem.
10) “In that day will I raise up the TABERNACLE OF DAVID that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by My Name, saith the LORD that doeth this. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God” (Amos 9:11-15).
The raising up of the fallen booth of David is associated with the restoration of Israel (v.14) when God will “plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land” (v.15). This implies that prior to the millennium the tabernacle of David was in a fallen condition. Christ, therefore, did not restore the throne and tabernacle of David when He sat down at the right hand of the Father. The tabernacle of David has not yet been restored, but it will be in the future when Christ assumes His millennial throne.
11) “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 for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).
Notice that His sitting on the throne of David is clearly linked with His reign over the house of Jacob (Israel). Today Christ is Head over the Church which is His body. It is not until the future millennium that Christ will rule over the house of Jacob. It is then that the kingdom will be restored again to Israel.
12) “When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time RESTORE AGAIN THE KINGDOM TO ISRAEL? And He said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:6-8).
Please observe what the Lord did not say. He did not say this: “In not many days I will sit down on David’s throne and the kingdom will be re-established!” No, the kingdom would be restored to Israel, but not yet. God’s new program, the church, was about to begin. When God restores the kingdom to Israel, Jerusalem will be the CENTER POINT. In God’s new program, the church, Jersalem is merely the STARTING POINT as Christ’s witnesses go forth to the uttermost part of the earth.
13) “Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch DAVID, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ TO SIT ON HIS THRONE; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, UNTIL I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:29-36).
a) This passage is used by Progressive Dispensationalists in their attempt to prove that Christ sat down on the throne of David when He sat at the right hand of God. However, the passage does not say that Christ is now seated upon the throne of David. It does say (v.30) that God raised up Christ to sit on David’s throne. It is obvious that the resurrection was a prerequisite for Christ to sit on David’s throne. How could a dead Messiah sit on David’s throne? Compare John 12:32-34 where the Jews were perplexed by the problem of how a dead Messiah could reign forever and ever.
b) The kingdom promised to David does not begin with Christ’s exaltation and session in heaven. It begins with Christ’s return to earth. This is made clear in Acts 2:34-35. The key word is “UNTIL.” Christ will not return to earth and will not sit upon David’s throne until His enemies are made His footstool.
14) “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive UNTIL the times of restitution [restoration] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:19-21).
a) In the early chapters of the book of Acts the nation Israel was given opportunity to REPENT. Had they repented, the Lord Jesus would have left His heavenly throne and would have come to His earthly throne, thus restoring the kingdom to Israel. Notice again our key word, “UNTIL.” Christ sits at the right hand of the Father and heaven receives Him UNTIL the right time comes to SEND JESUS back to the earth. It is only then that the restitution/restoration of all things will take place and the kingdom will be restored to Israel. It is then, and only then, that Christ will sit on the throne of David, on earth, in Jerusalem.
b) For a fascinating study of God’s offer of the kingdom to the Jews in the book of Acts, see The Strategic Grasp of the Bible by J. Sidlow Baxter (Zondervan).
15) “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My Name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Acts 15:14-17).
This passage so very clearly sets forth God’s time schedule as it relates to His present program (the Church which is His body) and His future program (the kingdom as promised to Israel). First we have God’s present program which involves God visiting the nations (the Gentiles), taking out of them a people for His Name. The Church is God’s called-out assembly, made up of saved Jews and saved Gentiles united together in one body, sharing a common LIFE and LORD. “AFTER THIS” (after God’s “church” program has been completed) Christ will return and the tabernacle of David will be built again and set up. The kingdom will be restored to Israel as Christ sits upon the throne of David, all in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant.
X. My Bucket List shows the references that I consult, of theologians and printed resources, whenever I write an article that will be posted. Please the Pages of my site to find Bucket List.
XI . My Websites To Follow.
https://untotheleastofthese.home.blog/ Book Prep
https://newsandcommentary38395276.wordpress.com/ Thy Kingdom Come
XII. Recommended Resource.
The Coming Kingdom, Dr. Andrew M Woods. Th.M., J.D., Ph.D.