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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Spring Edition 2007

God's Kingdom Has Come

"Go thou and preach the kingdom of God" Lk. 9:60).

Now, obviously, it would be difficult for anyone to go preach the kingdom of God, if they were in confusion or uncertainty over what that kingdom was. So we have to start with a clear understanding of what the New Testament meant by its references to the coming of the kingdom of God.

The Bible is its own best interpreter, and its self-revelation is very clear. A plain definition of the kingdom of God has been given to us in Romans 14:17 (which was, by the way, one of the chief preaching passages of John Wesley). "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

The word "is" here is our definition indicator. The kingdom of God "is" righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost! By this we learn that the kingdom of God is a spiritual dynamic of human transformation. In a nutshell it is "full salvation"--a kingdom of redemption.

The kingdom of God is the messianic in-breaking of God's redemption on earth. It began to be manifest with the appearance of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, two-thousand years ago. When Jesus started preaching He said: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mk. 1:15).

What was the "time" that was at that point being fulfilled? It was, no doubt, Daniel's prophecy of the Seventy Weeks and other prophecies of Daniel that pointed to the coming of the Messiah. (For amazing details on the EXACT fulfillment of Daniel's sixty-nine weeks at the birth of Christ, please see our book Is The Great Tribulation In Daniel 9:27?, now available through the "products" menu of this website.

Numerous passages in the New Testament reveal the progressive in-breaking of the kingdom of God's redemption on earth through the public ministry of Jesus Christ. Among these are the following: "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you" (Matt. 12:28). "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force" (Matt. 11:12). Commenting on this latter verse, Herman Ridderbos writes:

". . . it cannot be denied that the kingdom of heaven is here represented as a present reality. . . . With Jesus the new era has come, and the kingdom of heaven is pushing its way with force into the world. Conversely this is also a question of 'appropriating,' 'taking' the kingdom as 'a booty.' This means striving for the redemption offered by the kingdom without being deterred by anything and by using all one's endeavors and staking every-thing for its sake" (The Coming of the Kingdom, p. 54).

The gospels indicate that the kingdom of God is a dynamic relationship of salvation that is to be "given" (Lk. 12:32), "sought" (Matt. 6:33), "found" (Matt. 13:44-46), "received" (Mk. 10:15), "seen" (Jn. 3:3), and "entered" (Jn. 3:5).

Jesus told His disciples that there were some standing before Him who would not taste of death until they had seen the kingdom of God come with power (Mk. 9:1). "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you [that is, the kingdom or righteousness, and peace, and joy set up in your hearts!] and ye shall be witness unto me" (Acts 1:8). "I will give power unto my two witnesses and they shall prophecy one-thousand two-hundred and threescore days" [that is, the last half of Daniel's seventieth week, which has been elongated since the resurrection of Jesus Christ to embrace the entire period of the calling of the Gentiles]" (Rev. 11:3ff.).

The true Christ of the Bible and the manifestation of His messianic kingdom can neither exegetically nor logically be seen to have been separated from each other by two-thousand years of history. Rather, it is a false Christ and a false gospel that must deny, or in any way undermine our faith in, the manifestation of the messianic kingdom of God in this present age.

Dispensationalists teach that Jesus is coming back to set up His kingdom, but they have put the "age of parenthesis" on the wrong side of the Cross! Think about it.

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