SEED & BREAD
THE KINGDOM IS COMING
(Originally published 10 Oct. 86)
In regard to the emphatic and unqualified declaration made in the
subject of this study, I will even be more positive and say that of this
I am sure ó as sure and certain as anyone can be concerning things to
come ó the kingdom of God is coming. Yes, as sure as God exists, as sure
as the sun will be in the sky tomorrow, the day is surely coming when
God in Christ will take unto Himself His great power (Matt. 28:18),
judge the peoples of the earth righteously (Acts 17:31), and govern the
nations upon the earth (Psa. 67:4).
As to when this great divine action will take place, I do not know. It
may take place today, or it could be next week or next year, or it may
not be for a hundred years. Waiting for it is a definite part of our
walk before God. Thus, we wait for that "one divine event to which the
whole creation moves."
There is no prophecy that must be fulfilled before God assumes
sovereignty. All God needs to do is speak in heaven and its inauguration
will take place upon the earth. Then we can truthfully say: "The Lord
reignethí and praise Him because "He has taken to Himself His great
power and does reigní (Psalm 96:10, Rev. 11:17).
Due to the manifest sway of evil upon the earth today we know we are
living in the last (concluding) days of Godís long display of grace.
From Scripture we know that the manifest kingdom of God will be the next
condition of things upon this earth. However, no one knows the date when
God will speak in heaven and assume sovereignty over this world. It has
not been given to me or to anyone else to know "the times or the seasons
which the Father has put in His own power" (Acts 1:7). The restoration
of the kingdom (divine sovereignty) to Israel is one feature of Godís
government of the world, and it was not given to the Lordís most favored
disciples to know as to the time of this. But we can be sure it will
take place, even as we are told in Godís Word (Zech. 14:9).
In handling this great truth of the coming of divine government upon the
earth, we must be careful not to confuse events or to scramble times and
seasons. Godís initial act when His benevolent rule over mankind begins
is the divine assumption of sovereignty. He takes to Himself His great
power and governs the earth and all men upon it. The Lord does not
descend from heaven with a shout as described in 1 Thess. 4:16, for this
imposition of government will be as described in Matt. 12:18-21. "Behold
my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well
pleased: I will put my spirit upon Him, and He will show judgment to the
nations. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His
voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking
flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory. And
in His name shall the nations trust."
Jesus Christ will remain seated and acting upon the rights of God until
His foes are made His footstool. "For he must reign (govern) until He
has put all enemies under His feet" (1 Cor. 15:25).
"The LORDíS throne (seat of government) is in heaven (Psa. 11:4). "The
LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens" (Psalm 103:19). Three
times in the Word, God has declared that heaven is His throne and earth
is His footstool. See Isa. 66:1, and Matt. 5:34, 35. So again I say,
when Godís administration of grace ends and His administration of
government begins, that government will proceed from the throne and not
from the footstool.
Many contemporaneous events are included in the initial act of God, the
divine assumption of sovereignty, and these works of God will form the
foundation of the just rule of God over the earth and its inhabitants.
But we must be careful not to relate to it events which have no place.
Common sense will tell us that an event in which there is no cry,
neither will any voice be heard, cannot be the same as an event in which
the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, the voice of the archangel
and the trump of God. Matthew 12:18-21 cannot be the same event as 1
The magnificent things that take place at God's assumption of
sovereignty are numerous and they lay the foundation and provide the
framework for His righteous government over mankind. Without these the
kingdom would be like a man without a skeleton. Briefly stated these
acts of God are the enlightenment of the world (Psalm 97:4); the pouring
out of God's Spirit on all flesh (Joel 2:28); the unveiling (apokalupsin)
of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:7); the manifestation (epiphaneia ó blazing
forth) of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus
2:13); the divine evaluation (judgment) of all the living and all the
dead (2 Tim. 4:1); plus many other related events which are clearly
enunciated in Scripture.
In proclaiming that the kingdom is coming, by "kingdom" I mean
government." I do not mean that a "land" is coming or even that a "king"
is coming. I mean that a divine adminstration, oversight, rule, reign,
guidance, control, or regulation, is coming from God. And let no one say
that I believe in a kingdom without a king. One has already been
established a King, now the question is when will He take to Himself His
great power and do the things everyone knows a good King should do. And
remember, that if Jesus Christ cannot govern this earth from heaven,
then He cannot govern heaven from the earth.
To me there is not one shade of difference in the phrases "the kingdom
of God" and "the government of God." In fact, if I were translating the
whole Bible, I would render the Hebrew word malkuth and the Greek word
basiliea by the word "government" in every occurrence, except in a few
cases where synonyms such as rule, control, or sovereignty would more
clearly set forth the nuances indicated by the context.
Thus, it is Godís government that is coming upon the earth, and this
government will include every human that has ever lived in this world,
those who are among the living at the time it comes and all who are
among the dead. This truth is expressed in the usually ignored and
neglected declaration found in 2 Timothy 4:1, which faithfully
translated reads: "I charge you therefore before God, even the Lord
Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His epiphaneia
(blazing forth) even His kingdom."
This epiphaneia, a blazing forth of the glory of our great God and
Savior, is the first positive manifestation that the government of God
is a reality. From that point on every man living upon the earth will
know Who Christ is and What He is, fulfilling the ancient prophecy of
Isaiah: "And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh
shall see it together" (Isa. 40:5). It will also fulfill God's promise
made through Habakkuk; "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge
of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (2:14).
This blazing forth and the start of Godís manifest government are one
and the same. This passage troubles many readers of 2 Timothy since it
describes a universal judgment, the living and the dead ó all inclusive,
but this is because they read far too much into the word "judgeí They
give to this word an unlimited meaning, making it cover every detail of
oneís life, settling all destinies and rewards once for all. The
believer is to come into no such judgment as this as we are told in John
5:24, but he will come into another judgment as declared in 2 Tim. 4:1.
This judgment, limited as to its purpose, is a divine evaluation, and it
will determine who among all mankind are to have a place in the kingdom
of God. If you and I are among the living when God assumes sovereignty
this evaluation of all who are then living will determine if we are to
be blessed by continuance among the living. And if we are among the dead
this evaluation of all the dead will determine if we are to be raised
from among the dead to enjoy the rich blessings that will be the portion
of those upon this earth.
Let it be carefully noted that when the kingdom of God becomes a
reality, our entrance into it or our exclusion from it is going to be
determined by the life we have lived during our days upon this earth.
Can anyone read 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and Gal. 5:19, 21 and say that exclusion
from the kingdom of God is not determined by the life one has lived upon
this earth? Furthermore, can anyone read John 1:12; 3:16, 17, 18; Acts
10:35 and say that entrance into eonian life (which is life in the
kingdom of God) is not to be determined by things done upon the earth?
Let no one think that the enlightenment of mankind which takes place
upon Godís assumption of sovereignty will give to anyone a "second
chance:í an opportunity to reconsider and do right by the God who is our
Savior. God is not running a lottery. The Bible reveals and it is also
quite evident that some individuals have so lived that their conduct has
made them persona non grata (an unacceptable person) so far as life
under God's benevolent government is concerned. Let no one deceive
himself. The life you are living today, our present attitude toward the
God who is our Savior may be the facts that will exclude you from the
kingdom of God. Remember, the Bible says "He that has the Son has life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12).
Issue no. 194