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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," September Edition 2008

The Kingdom Of Righteousness

“The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).

On one occasion Jesus told the crowd that there were some folks standing before Him who would not taste of death till they had seen the kingdom of God come with power (Mk. 9:1 cf. with Matt. 16:28 and Lk. 9:27).

Later, to His disciples, Jesus promised: “Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). Yes, it was the Father’s good pleasure--they remembered that He had said--to give them the kingdom (Lk. 12:32). That “kingdom” Paul later defined as being of a spiritual essence that was “in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17).

The above considerations make it clear that the messianic kingdom of God was established on earth on the Day of Pentecost. Jesus had said the kingdom was “at hand” (Matt, 4:17), and that could not possibly have meant 2,000 years later. With the continuing presence of the Holy Spirit in the world today, the kingdom has remained on earth ever since it came in the first century. Even to this hour folks are being “born anew” (Jn. 3:5) and “translated” into it (Col. 1:13).

Dispensationalism teaches that it is necessary for Jesus to return to earth again in order to “set up His kingdom” and have righteousness on earth. The problem is that these folks are in truth denial, having a very low and distorted conception of the atonement, and what the gospel is supposed to do for us today.

According to the Bible, it is the Christian gospel message of truth that makes people righteous (Rom. 1:16-17), and not the bodily presence of Christ again on earth after the second coming. Nowhere did Jesus say that He would bring righteousness to the Jews, or anyone else, when He returns. Rather, He taught that all may be made righteousness now by faith in His shed blood.

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