Summary: This article was written and published Aug. ’14. This article explains that there does exist today a present form of the kingdom of God in the world, one which doesn’t correspond to the prophetic passages and promises found in the Old Testament about a Messianic kingdom for Israel. The present form of the kingdom is the totality of Christendom in the world. If you allow yourself to think that the kingdom of God can only be Messianic, involving a present Messiah ruling over a restored Israel in the promised land, then you will be blinded to the establishment of the kingdom of heaven at this time and the reality of the Christian dispensation with its specific principles and character. Continue reading if you want a detailed explanation of this important understanding.
The kingdom of God is a term in Scripture used in a broad and general way. It depicts the idea of God being present and working, or the general reign and government of God. When God took on human flesh and came into the world, He came unto His own (John 1:10-11). He was Emanuel in the midst of Israel, and the elect among them could say, “God with us.” (Matt. 1:23) When Jesus cast out demons He would say, “…the kingdom of God has come upon you.” God was present and was working on behalf of that person (Luke 11:20). The same could be said to all those He healed, the lepers He cleansed, and the multitudes He fed by multiplying the food. Not only this, but He also walked on water, calmed the storms, and called a mass of fish into the nets of His disciples. Also we read in Matt. 10:1, “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” These are the things that only divinity can do, that is, only God can transfer His own power in this way. God was working in their midst (John 5:17-18), and so, the kingdom of God was there among them in Israel.
Jesus went about Galilee and Judea preaching the kingdom of God (Matt. 4:23, Luke 4:43). When He sent His disciples out before Him, they were directed to also preach the kingdom of God (Luke 9:2). Yet it remains to be asked, what form of the kingdom was presented to Israel at that time?
The Scriptures are clear on this point and our answer to this question should be relatively easy. Jesus was sent by God to Israel as their Messiah, the King of the Jews (Luke 4:17-21). He is the son of David after the flesh who is destined to sit on the throne of David forever (Is. 9:6-7, Jer. 23:5-8, 33:14-17, Ps. 89:3-4, 132:10-18, Zech. 6:12-13). This is according to promises made to the forefathers, Jewish prophecy, and the determined counsels of God (Matt. 1:1, Rev. 12:1-5). Anyone with the least bit familiarity of Scripture will be able to see that the form of the kingdom of God offered to Israel at that time was the Messianic kingdom. God sent Jesus to Israel and limited the scope of His ministry to the Jews (Matt. 15:21-26). When the disciples were sent out before the Lord, they were forbidden to go to the Samaritans or the Gentiles (Matt. 10:5-6). This was the kingdom of God in the early part of the Lord’s ministry, and it was definitely offered to Israel with the coming of their Messiah.
Yet we all know the outcome; this presentation was rejected by Israel; they would not have Him as their King. “He came unto His own, and His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11) They claimed Caesar as their king (Luke 23:2, John 19:12, 15). After all that God had done for Israel, privileging them in many ways as His own people and showing great longsuffering with them, it was said, “Then last of all he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’” But they took the son, cast him out of the vineyard and killed him (Is. 5:1-4, Matt.21:33-39). The kingdom of God, in the form it was presented, was definitively taken from them. There would be no Messianic kingdom in Israel at this time (Matt. 21:42-44).
Were the counsels of God upset because Jesus was crucified and put to death? No, they were not. We find that Scripture testifies that His death was the determined counsel of God, even though the Jews remained guilty (Acts 2:22-23). The kingdom was taken from Israel. They were set aside as “…not My people and I will not be your God.” (Hosea 1:9) As the house of God they were made desolate, and have remained that way now for close to 2000 years (Matt. 23:37-39, Luke 19:41-44, 21:20-24). God told us what He would do to His vineyard Israel: He would take away its hedge, break down its wall, and burn it. They would be trampled down and laid waste (Is. 5:5-7). In their history God set Israel aside in relation to two different biblical principles:
1.) The government of God in the earth
2.) The calling of God
With the first setting aside, the presence and glory of God departs Israel and the earth, and the throne of God is lost. God gives responsibility of world government over to the Gentiles, and destroys Jerusalem and the temple in judgment through Nebuchadnezzar. The second principle remained with the Jews for some time after this. However, the calling of God was set aside with Israel when they crucified their Messiah. God once again destroyed the temple and Jerusalem, only this time by the Romans.
The question now becomes, with the setting aside of Israel and their Messianic kingdom, the setting aside of their Messiah with all the promises that accompanied this title of King of the Jews (Luke 23:38), what form would the kingdom of God take as God continued to work? This also is a relatively easy question to answer if we would pay close attention to God’s word. With God’s original vineyard made desolate and the kingdom taken from Israel, we find that the Sower, the Son of Man, went out to sow (Matt. 13:1-3, 24, 37). There would be a new planting by God.
The new form of the kingdom of God develops on the earth according to the revelations and parables spoken of the kingdom of heaven. Its complete prophetic history is told to us by Jesus in the teaching and seven parables found in Matthew thirteen (13). Matthew’s gospel is the only place in all of Scripture where you will find the term “the kingdom of heaven.” (used by Matthew 32 times) In Matthew the preaching by John the Baptist, Jesus, and His disciples that “the kingdom of heaven was at hand” serves as the declaration of a time of transition between the end of the Jewish dispensation and the soon beginning of a new dispensation – the kingdom of heaven. You will find additional teaching and parables of the kingdom of heaven in other places in Matthew, but in chapter thirteen (13) the Holy Spirit sees fit to give us the complete picture of the new dispensation.
There are many truths concerning the kingdom of heaven that are significant. For example, the kingdom doesn’t exist or begin its development until the Son of Man plants the wheat and goes away, back to heaven. Until then, the kingdom of heaven was always “at hand,” which would mean, “not yet.” The kingdom of God develops in the “present form” of the kingdom of heaven on the earth, after Jesus was glorified to the right hand of God, and the Holy Spirit was sent down to gather the church. This “going away” or “being away” is clearly taught in some of the parables of the kingdom (Matt. 25:1, 14, Mark 13:34, Luke 19:12). While Jesus is in heaven this form of the kingdom progresses through time as a crop in the field of the world (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43).
If it is a new planting by God than it is not Israel. Israel was the old planting. The kingdom of heaven is the kingdom of God, but it is a form of the kingdom that definitely is not Messianic – it is not Jewish (Is. 9:6-7). The kingdom of heaven is not the kingdom of God according to promises and prophecy (Is. 60, Zech. 8:1-13), and all that was previously revealed about the kingdom of God in Scripture (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45). All previous prophecy spoke of the kingdom of God being with and in Israel and Jerusalem. To this point in time all previous Scripture only predicted a kingdom of God in outward form coming in the world that exalted and prospered the nation of Israel, restoring the Jews in the full extent of the land, and the Gentile nations serving them. But the kingdom of heaven is different. It is obvious that this is a new revelation – it is not found in the writings of the law and the prophets. This is quite distinct.
The crop in the field is not Israel. The crop in the world is Christendom. This is an important distinction. Before He went away, the Son of Man, working on behalf of God, used good seed and planted wheat in His field. But when His workers were sleeping (human responsibility) the enemy came in and planted weeds. The crop has been spoiled and ruined by the failure of man in responsibility and the work of the devil entering in. Hence the title of the third book – The Corruption and Death of Christendom.
You may read any chapter or even the entire book on this web site. All three of the books written so far can be read on this site on the “books” page listed above. Anyone with access to a computer may read the teachings. I believe all the teaching belongs to God. It is His to do with as He pleases. It doesn’t belong to me. I do not look to make profits from it or to become a popular Christian teacher. I’m well aware that the third book will never be popular, especially with the ministry. It will be condemned by those who build so much the works of men on the earth to which the profession of the name of Jesus Christ is attached. But I believe it is God’s testimony concerning the professing church as we progress to the end of this present age (Matt. 13:37-43). The first two chapters of this book discuss what we have been considering here. The first chapter is titled ‘The Kingdom of Heaven’, while the second chapter is ‘The Parable of the Wheat and Tares’. These would give a lengthier discussion and more details to the subject we have been considering. Then there is the last chapter of the book, titled, ‘The Mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven’. This is the form of the kingdom of God today, and the condition it will remain in to the end of the age (Matt. 13:28-30, 39).
To have a better understanding, and to clear away some of the misconceptions we have in our systems of doctrine, we must now discuss what it is that we don’t have. As I mentioned above, the present form of the kingdom of God is not Messianic. Therefore, it is not Jewish. Jesus is not sitting today on the Davidic throne. He sits at His Father’s right hand on His Father’s throne (Rev. 3:21, 12:5). He sits there as hidden from the world (Col. 3:1-3). He sits there only for a certain period of time. He sits there until the time His enemies are to be made His footstool (Heb. 10:12-13). Jesus will eventually get up from where He is presently sitting, from where He is presently hidden. When the Father tells Him it is time to get up, it is for the purpose of His manifestation to the world (Col. 3:4). Previously in sitting He was hidden from the world; when He gets up it is for His appearing to the world (every eye will see Him – Rev. 1:7). His manifestation is the time for the judgment of the world and the time for Jesus to judge His enemies on the earth – making them His footstool. Obviously this necessitates His physical return to the earth to execute these judgments (Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45, Rev. 19:11-21).
It is not until after these warring judgments are completed that He will reign upon His very own throne. And there are two thrones that Jesus will reign on, as spoken of in prophecy – the throne of the Son of Man ruling over all of the first creation of God (Dan. 7:13-14, Matt. 25:31-32, Ps. 8:3-9), and the throne of David with the Son of David sitting on it (Jer. 33:14-21, Ps. 72), reigning as the Prince and King of Israel, the Anointed One of Jehovah, Messiah, over the twelve tribes of the end time remnant of Israel (Ps. 2:6, 132:17, Ez. 44:3, Luke 23:35-39, Rev. 14:1-3). Both thrones are encompassed in His title of King of kings and Lord of lords. However, it should be noted that the Son of Man title and throne has a much greater scope and perspective. This shouldn’t be difficult to see and reason.
We also can note certain biblical truths that flow out of the biblical principles and character that surround these topics. The two thrones mentioned above that Jesus will sit on are physical thrones on this earth. They are the means by which Jesus will rule over this world. But what is the world and what does it consist of, according to biblical principles? Its composition is unbelieving Jews and Gentiles (this is in regards to the people and is not a consideration of the principles or character of the world). Israel is very much a part of the world; the Jews are always part of the world; their entire history, what is past and what will be their future, connects them to this world and earth. It is Israel’s biblical character. The biblical principles surrounding the Jews never change Israel’s character, but only staunchly maintain it. Israel is God’s earthly calling. But the believer/church is not of this world (John 17:11-16, 15:18-19). The biblical principles surrounding the believer/church have a connection with heaven and the Father’s house (John 14:1-4), not with the world and earth. The believer has God’s heavenly calling (Heb. 3:1). Therefore, it only makes sense that the two thrones by which Jesus will rule over the world have no application to the church, seeing that the church is not of this world.
Jesus, the Son of Man, will rule over all of the first creation. By His death He paid the price of its reconciliation back to God (Col. 1:20). But creation must wait for the revealing of the sons of God with Christ in glory before it can be rid of its corruption and futility (Rom. 8:18-21, Col. 3:4). But again we should understand that the believer is no longer part of the first creation. We have died to that relationship (Rom. 6:2-11, Col. 3:3). It doesn’t exist anymore (Gal. 2:19-20). The believer is the new creation of God (II Cor. 5:17). Therefore, it only makes sense that the throne of the Son of Man, by which Jesus has dominion over the first creation reconciled, is not His ruling as King over the church. Jesus as King over the believer is not a proper biblical thought. That is why you will never find it taught in Scripture. Such a thought would violate biblical principles and character. So then, is Jesus presently sitting on the throne of David in heaven? At this time does He exercise a “spiritual reign” as King over the church? We have to be more disciplined in our thoughts and studies than this.
The Father’s throne is the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). In this present age the grace of God involves the gathering of the church and the offer of grace to all men in the preaching of the gospel. The Father’s throne is associated with the Father’s kingdom (Matt. 13:43). This is entirely a Christian thing. Just as the name of God as ‘Father’ is strictly a Christian revelation, as is the sending and receiving of the Comforter, so too is the Father’s kingdom and throne (for a more thorough reading on this I refer you to ‘The Revelation of the Father’and ‘The Promise of the Comforter’ chapters found in the first book, ‘The Son of Man Glorified’). The ‘Father’s throne’ strictly benefits the believer/church. This is the throne where our High Priest sits interceding for us. His ministry there only benefits the believer/church as well (Heb. 4:14-16, 7:25-8:2, 9:24-26).
We have to learn that there are things that are distinctly Christian, and other things that are distinctly Jewish. Also we have to learn that these different things do not mix. The Father’s throne is not David’s throne. The throne of David is a Jewish thing – according to Jewish promises and prophecy. When we look closely at these prophecies about David’s throne, it is very clear that it is an earthly throne, found in Jerusalem, on which a descendant of David after the flesh will sit (Ps. 72, 132:10-18, Is. 9:6-7, Jer. 23:5-8, 33:14-17). And this sitting will be forever; it will not be ‘sit at my right hand until…’ Just as ‘Messiah’ is a Jewish thing, a title that exists only through promises made to the Jews, and it is not a Gentile promise or a church promise, in like manner the ‘throne of David’ is strictly Jewish and earthly in its character. Neither one of these – Messiah or the Davidic throne – have anything to do with the believer/church. In a similar way when we consider what is said in prophecy about the earthly city of Jerusalem, we again find an overwhelming Jewish character. We know it to be the city of David (II Sam. 5:7-9, I Kings 2:10) and the city of the great King (Ps. 48:1-2, Matt. 5:34-35). Prophecy speaks directly of this city being chosen by Jehovah as His place of habitation forever (Ps. 132:13-14, Is. 60:14, Jer. 3:15-18), and where His “Anointed” Messiah would be forever (Ps. 132:17-18). How is this not the city where the throne of David will be established forever, where Jesus, the real Son of David, will sit and rule over the twelve tribes of a united Israel, according to all the prophecies? (Luke 22:28-30) (Solomon, the son of David, sitting on the throne of David, ruling over the nation of Israel in peace, serves as the type foreshadowing this – the millennial Messianic kingdom)
Sorry… I know this will upset a few Christians in their long-held thoughts and beliefs. Yet it is paramount that the thoughts we have are God’s thoughts which come only from God’s word. For example, the prophecy in Jeremiah (Jer. 33:14-26) directly ties the eternal throne of David to the earthly city of Jerusalem in an unbreakable covenant made by God. The earthly city is named, The Lord our Righteousness. No doubt this is reference to the Branch of David who will reign as King on the throne of David in the city of David (Jer. 23:5-8). This can never be considered a reference to the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. Jesus declares that the heavenly city is the city of His God and the name of the city of His God is the New Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12). Nor is Jeremiah’s prophecy a reference to “a present spiritual reign of Jesus” on a throne of David in heaven. This thought is spiritual nonsense and only can result from the gross manipulation of Scripture. If I may be direct, the truth of the matter is that such distorted teachings show little regard for biblical principles and character, or the simple understanding of the text of Scripture. Again, the simple truth is that “the throne of David” has no application to the church or individual believer. It only applies to Israel, and therefore can only apply to what God saves out of Israel in the end – the Jewish remnant (Rev. 7:1-8).
In a similar way the “Messiah” title of Jesus Christ never has application to the church or individual believer. It is a title from Jewish prophecy and Jewish promises (please read Messiah, Promise to Israel – chapter two of The Son of Man Glorified book). Messiah is the Prince and King of Israel (Ez. 44:3-4, 46:2, 8, Ps. 2:2, 2:6-12). Jesus is never King to the church; Head of the body and High Priest for the church He is, but never King over His brethren (Rom. 8:29-30). And the earthly city of Jerusalem has no real application to the believer/church. Jesus went away to prepare abodes for us in the Father’s house in the heavens (John 14:1-3). The Father’s house is the New Jerusalem. But the existence of the heavenly city is hidden from prophecy. However, so numerous are the prophecies about the earthly Jerusalem that it is hard to count them all.
All the above prophecies would have to be “spiritualized” in a grand and difficult way in order to teach such assumptions as truth. Why do so many theologians do this?!?! It is so they can maintain their systems of doctrine and human thoughts. For example, covenant theology must have active or fulfilled covenants in effect, and the theologians must be able to explain the workings of such covenants in their system. So they take the covenant Jehovah made with David concerning his throne and a reign over Israel, assume it is presently active, and make every attempt to apply that covenant to the church. Therefore Jesus must be sitting on the throne of David at this time, and that throne must be in heaven because that is where Jesus is, and the church must be the real Israel, and Jesus must be reigning as King, in a “spiritual” way, over the church. The problem is that when we seriously examine biblical principles and character in the light of Scripture, none of these statements are remotely true. All of it is the manipulation of Scripture or coming to the Scriptures with pre-conceived thoughts.
I could speak of the “new covenant”, but most believers would not like what I would have to say, especially a covenant theologian. What is the simple and direct testimony of Scripture concerning the new covenant, that is, without any pre-conceived human thoughts and assumptions? It is a second covenant God will make with Israel (Heb. 8:7). It will be a covenant by which God will bring back together as one the two divided houses of Israel (Jer. 31:31, Heb. 8:8). The first covenant made with Israel failed. It is a covenant that has ended and vanished away (Heb. 8:13). It is of critical importance for all believers, at some point in time, to come to the correct biblical understandings concerning the law as a covenant given to Israel by God. Without these proper understandings, based on biblical principles and character, you simply will not be able to rightly divide the Word of truth. Why did God make this covenant? What were His reasons and purposes? Why just Israel? Why was this covenant insufficient? Why did it have to end? Do you realize that this is the only covenant God ever made that did come to an end? Why just this covenant? Although I cannot enter into a lengthy discussion here, the failures of the law as a covenant all revolve around the principle of human responsibility. The founding principle of Judaism is human responsibility. And that is why it was doomed to fail.
Was the first covenant made with Israel? Yes it was. Was the first covenant made with the Egyptians or Babylonians? No it was not. The first covenant was made with Israel alone. If we can count one, two, we will have a good biblical understanding. If Israel had the first covenant and that covenant ended, and the second covenant, the new covenant, replaces the first (Heb. 8:7), then we should have this certain conclusion – the second covenant is made with Israel (Heb. 8:13). Keeping away from human thoughts and assumptions, this statement agrees with the plain language of the only passages in Scripture that actual describe any specific details of the “new covenant” (Jer. 31:31-34, Heb. 8:8-12). Now of course at this present time Israel is not recognized by God and the nation has been set aside. “For you are not My people, and I will not be your God.” (Hos. 1:8) The house of Israel was made desolate by God, and remains this way until they see with their eyes Jesus again, and they say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matt. 23:37-39). So the new covenant will not be instituted with Israel until then. At this time Israel has no covenant.
But there is another biblical principle concerning covenants that brings insight and clarity to what we discuss. “…Israelites, to whom pertain…the covenants.” (Rom. 9:4) All the covenants that God makes are related to Israel. Now we could take this discussion in a number of different directions, but let’s just cut to the chase. The question that is often asked is, “Who is the real Israel?” And usually those who ask this question are also the ones who have come to the conclusion that the church is the real Israel. If they are correct, then their answer to the above would be “the covenants pertain to the church.” This is what covenant theology would espouse, and therefore we see in their theological system the application of Jewish covenants to the church. They would immediately point to this,“For they are not all Israel who are of Israel, nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham.” (Rom. 9:6-7) But this conclusion, on which so much of their system hangs, is based on a false assumption. This is what I intend to now show.
“For they are not all Israel who are of Israel…” does in fact speak in the negative of a certain “real Israel”, but tells us specifically that this “real Israel” is to be found in the nation of Israel. “…nor are they all children because they are the seed of Abraham” again tells us of the existence of a “real Israel”, but also tells us the “real Israel” is still of the physical descendants of Abraham – they are the seed of Abraham, and this is not referring to a spiritual seed, but to the natural and physical seed. The real Israel has a double criterion: first, it is all made up of physical descendants of Abraham (after the flesh) and second, they all are elect of God. The remainder of the passage bears this out (Rom. 9:7-13). The phrase “…that the purpose of God according to election might stand…” does teach many other biblical truths about God and about us, but in the context of the passage beginning in Romans 9:1 and continuing through Romans 9:13 it is specifically referring to an elect remnant of and in the nation of Israel. This elect remnant is always the “real Israel.”
When you consider the beginning of the passage where it is said “…to whom pertain…the covenants…” (Rom. 9:3-5), the evidence supporting my statements is even more obvious. In verse three Paul says, “…my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh…” This couldn’t be any more clear who it is the passage is speaking of. Paul says my brethren, but immediately defines what specific group he is speaking about – it is Israel, his kinsmen according to the flesh. Then the passage says Israelites, to whom pertain… This is another clear identification of the “whom” to which Paul is referring – it is the nation of Israel. At this point in the passage Paul is not yet speaking of a “real Israel.” The proper conclusion is that the covenants pertain to the nation, to Israel. And he is not speaking of either the church or the “real Israel” at this early point in the passage. Further, the proper conclusion as to who is the real Israel (Rom. 9:6) – it is always that which is elect out of Israel. This hardly encompasses the entire church.
The Father’s throne is not the throne you see in the book of Revelation. There we see the throne of Elohim-Jehovah-Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty (Rev. 4:8). These are the names by which God revealed Himself to the forefathers and Israel (Ex. 6:3). They are the dispensational names of God and are decidedly Jewish in character. If this was a throne of grace it would not have lightings, thunderings, and voices proceeding from it (Rev. 4:5). These manifestations were seen on Mt. Sinai with the giving of the Law, and therefore are associated with the judgments of God. This is the throne of God’s government of the earth. The book of Revelation is a book of prophecy (Rev. 1:1-3). The character of all prophecy is that it is about Israel, the earth, and God’s government of the earth. This throne, with all its associations, is about this very character. It is not the Father’s throne of grace.
What name for God is missing from the ones used in association with the throne in Revelation? What is used is the Lord God Almighty, and the Eternal (Rev.1:4, 4:8). What is missing is the name of “Father.” The church is not properly a dispensation. She is a heavenly body destined for the heavens. She has no association with the earth or world. The name “Father” is God’s revealed name to His many sons, and involves their “relationship’ with Him. The Father’s name has no connections to the earth and world, or even Israel. Therefore, the Father’s name has no connections to prophecy, covenants, or dispensations – for these three in particular involve the earth and world. When God is preparing to judge the earth and world, it is a throne of government we see in heaven, with all its proper associations and character.
Also note: the law, which is Judaism, is the basis for God’s government of the millennial earth. It will be written on the hearts and minds of the chosen Jewish remnant and all their children (Jer. 31:31-34). This will be the new covenant Jehovah will make with Israel for the millennium. Jesus Christ will rule over a restored Israel as their Prince and Messiah, issuing judgments in righteousness from the Davidic throne in Jerusalem (Jer. 33:15, Ps. 9:1-20, 45:6-7, 67:4-7, 72:1-11, 97:1-6, 99:1-5). You see, the law is God’s religion of the earth and for man in Adam, man in the flesh. The law was always the standard and requirement of human righteousness before a holy God, and therefore always the basis of God’s government of man on the earth. This is human righteousness and man in Adam; it is not the righteousness of God, nor is it the believer in Christ, the second Adam. But the law, as opposed to grace, will be the basis of God’s direct government of the world and earth during the coming millennium, when Jesus, the Son of Man rules from His own earthly throne in Jerusalem.
In all Scripture Jesus Christ is never seen as King to the church. All true believers are His brethren (John 20:17, Rom. 8:29, Heb. 2:10-11). For the church He is Head of the body and Bridegroom for the bride. He is also our High Priest, whether this is seen individually or corporately. But He is never King in a relationship to the believer or church – this is just poor doctrine and error. He is the King of glory, but this is millennial and for Israel (Ps. 24). He is the King of kings and Lord of lords, but this is His millennial relationship to the Gentile nations on the earth at His return (Rev. 1:7, 19:16). He is the King of the Jews (Luke 23:38); this is for Israel as their Prince and Messiah.
The Father of glory is His Father and our Father. Also in Scripture God in known as the God of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3, 17, 3:14, John 20:17). In these relationships Jesus is understood as both the Son of God and the Son of Man. If you look closely at John 20:17 you will see that the believer has been placed in the same relationships that Jesus has with God, and with the Father – with God as redeemed men and with the Father as sons. How else is it possible to explain that we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ? (Rom. 8:15-17) How else can we explain that the Father loves us with the same love He has for Jesus His Son? (John 17:20-23) The believer/church is destined to shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father (Matt. 13:43).
Even though Jesus was given all authority in heaven and earth after His resurrection, He does not presently reign as King over anything. Does He reign over Israel? He has every right to do so as King of the Jews. Does He reign over the world? He has every right to do so as King of kings – He was born and He is destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron (Ps. 2:7-9, Rev. 12:5). Yet where He sits today in heaven is not His throne (Rev. 3:21). It is not the Davidic throne of Messiah (Is. 9:6-7, Ps. 2:6-9, Jer. 33:14-21), nor is it the throne and glory of the Son of Man (Matt. 25:31, Dan. 7:13-14, Ps. 8:4-9). These will come later, after He gets up from where He is today and takes up His power to reign. It is clear that He sits there until it is time for God to judge His enemies by His appearing and return (Heb. 10:12-13). “But now we do not see all things put under Him.” (Heb. 2:8)
If it is the Father’s kingdom and His Father’s throne (Rev. 3:21), then it makes sense that the Father is the King. This is why it is said that Jesus sits at God’s right hand. Raised from the dead as the Son of Man, Jesus re-entered the glory of God as the resurrected and glorified Man. He is the forerunner for us, into the Presence and the glory (Heb. 6:19-20). And this is what suited God – to make the author of our salvation perfect through suffering (the cross), so that He, the Father, could bring many sons to glory (Heb. 2:9-10).
What is the form of the kingdom of God at this time? It is the kingdom of heaven in mystery (Matt. 13:11). What is this? It is a crop in the field. It is a crop that is a mixture of the work of God, the work of Satan, and the failures of men in responsibility. It is a crop that has been corrupted and ripens in evil until the end of the age. What is the field? It is the world. What is the crop? It is Christendom. Was this a new revelation at the time it was declared to be at hand? Yes, it was entirely new. This cannot be found in the law and the prophets.
The above paragraph represents the basic understandings we must have concerning the kingdom of heaven. The book, “The Corruption and Death of Christendom“ adds greater details to these understandings. But I sense there is a greater depth to the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven than even what is brought out in the book. Have you ever wondered what exactly is the Father’s kingdom? If you think or were taught that it means the same thing as the general term, ‘the kingdom of God,’ I would believe you to be wrong. The “kingdom of the Father” is a term distinctly used in Jesus’ interpretation of the wheat and tares parable (Matt. 13:43). If we look closely at the passage (Matt. 13:36-43) we can see that the term is used separately from the Son of Man’s kingdom (Matt. 13:41). The two kingdoms are conclusively different from each other.
Where is the Father’s house? Jesus went away there to prepare places for us (John 14:1-3). Where did He go? You know it wasn’t anywhere on the earth. The Father’s house is in the heavens. If we would do some prayerful study we should discover that the Father’s house is the New Jerusalem, the city of His God (Rev. 3:12). In the parable of the wheat and tares Jesus indicates that in the time of harvest the wheat would be gathered out of the field and into His barn (Matt. 13:30). These all are the same – Father’s house, New Jerusalem, and the barn. To go there is the calling and destination of the wheat – of true believers and the true church. This is where the kingdom of the Father is – in the heavens.
The revelation of the Father is exclusively a Christian revelation (please see Matt. 11:27). It is the name by which God is known in relationship with the believer (John 14:6-11, 20-21, 16:23-28, 17:1-3, 9-26). By faith in Jesus Christ we are sons of God (Gal. 3:26, Matt. 5:45). This gives each believer this relationship with God as our Father (Gal. 4:6, Matt. 6:9). Only believers go to the throne of grace in time of need (Heb. 4:16). And what do we find there at God’s right hand? Jesus as both High Priest with God and Advocate with the Father (Heb. 2:17, 10:21, I John 2:1). Is this not uniquely for the believer? This covers both aspects of the believer’s relationship, while we are still in these bodies of flesh and journeying along the way as a pilgrim and stranger. Once the church is glorified – changed into the image of the Son – His high priesthood and advocacy for the believer ends. Those two ministries are on our behalf for our walk on the earth. They are for our present weaknesses in the flesh and for our failures in our responsibilities as sons, respectively. The other current position Christ holds consequent to sitting down at the right hand of God is His Headship of the body, the church. This position never changes or ends.
God’s throne of grace is the Father’s throne where Jesus has currently sat down (Rev. 3:21). The throne of grace is exclusively a Christian thing. Only believers have access to it. We go there to find help in time of need and temptation (Heb. 4:14-16). Then it should not be hard to fathom that the Father’s kingdom is also a Christian thing, exclusively for the believer/church.
The kingdom of heaven is what we see as the present form of the kingdom of God. As a revelation , it is very new. This revelation, in a sense, was hidden from the law and prophets. That statement is a clue that should tell you something. The kingdom of heaven has a connection to the mystery of God, which by definition, was hidden from the prophets – the church, the body of Christ (Eph. 3:1-11, Rom. 16:25, Phil. 1:24-27). The spoiled crop in the field is Christendom in the world, and it contains the true church. But now we should better see the purpose of the kingdom of heaven, rather than just its form or development at this present time in the world. Its purpose is to establish the kingdom of the Father in the heavens as that which will be the means of the Father’s rule and blessing in grace over the millennial earth.
Nebuchadnezzar’s seven year judgment is an allegory of the complete “times of the Gentiles” (Dan. 4:13-35, Luke 21:24). We are still in these times. They will go on until the return of Christ, the judgment of the world, and the destruction of all Gentile world power (Dan. 2:34-35). This will be when the Gentiles will learn the lesson that was taught to Nebuchadnezzar – “…till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He chooses…after you come to know that the heavens rule.” (Dan. 4:25-26) At the end of the age the kingdom of heaven establishes this principle of rule by the kingdom of the Father in the heavens and the kingdom of the Son of Man in power and glory over the earth.
And in which of the two kingdoms will the church reside? Where will our abodes and habitation be? The church has a heavenly calling and a heavenly citizenship. She will sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, and there, will be blessed with every heavenly blessing. The places prepared for the church by Christ going away, her eternal habitation, are in the Father’s house in the heavens. All the connections and associations the true church has are heavenly and through a Christ seated in the heavens. Glorified and taken to the heavens will be the time when we will function as kings and priests to His God and Father (Rev. 1:6). Then will be the time when:
“…the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”