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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Fall Edition 1997

The Present Messianic Reign Of Christ

    Wesleyan fundamentalists believe that Christ is now reigning in His messianic kingdom. They affirm that Jesus began to reign on old King David's everlasting messianic throne at the time of His ascension, He is reigning right now in the fullest sense of the term, and in accord with the true biblical messianic ideal, and He will continue to reign until the consummation, at which time He will deliver up His messianic mediatorial kingdom of redemption to the Father.

    For the clear biblical foundation of this teaching please compare carefully in order the following passages: Psalm 2:6-7; Acts 13:22-23, 32-34; Hebrews 1:3-5; Psalm 110:1; Luke 20:41-44; Acts 2:30-36; Hebrews 1:13; 10:12-13; Daniel 7:13-14; Luke 24:51; Acts 1:10-11; Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 4:8-10; Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:1; I Peter 3:22; Luke 1:31-33; Acts 3:21; I Corinthians 15:24-28; and Hebrews 1:8,13.
    Now no Christian in his right mind will deny that Jesus "reigns," but there is a vast difference between seeing the nature of that reign as merely a return to the cosmic reign, which Christ, as essential deity, enjoyed with the Father and the Holy Spirit before His incarnation—as God, of course, Jesus has always reigned, and always will--, and seeing the present reign of Christ, as indeed His full messianic kingdom rule.

    Dispensational premillennialists will allow that Jesus reigns in that general cosmic sense, but they deny that He is now exercising on earth His promised messianic rule. This they unilaterally reserve for the future millennial age, after the second coming, when Jesus has returned to "set up," as they say, His kingdom. (Where does the Bible honestly say that Christ will "set up" anything when He returns, friends, please show me chapter and verse!) Then, and only then, do dispensationalists imagine, will Christ exercise His true messianic reign, and that in a very physical, materialistic, and literal sense.

    The problems with this theory are mainly metaphysical and philosophical in nature, for there is not a shred of exegetical evidence for it in the entire New Testament! The lame duck assumption of these theorists is that Christ begins His messianic reign with the inauguration of the (assumed future) one-thousand years of Revelation chapter twenty, but we must we search that text in vain for any evidence at all that indicates when Christ himself BEGINS His messianic reign!  (Acts chapter two, verses 22-36, however, is very clear as to when that reign began!)

    The Revelation chapter twenty millennial text says only that the resurrected saints and martyrs "lived and reign with Christ a thousand years "; it says nothing about the actual beginning of Christ's messianic reign--that information still needs to be validated elsewhere. The expression of the text, then, means no more that that the saints and martyrs join with Christ in the reign that He is already experiencing, and has experienced since the time of His resurrection, and the day of His ascension to the right hand of the Majesty on High.

    Of course it is easy to imagine that the duration of Christ's messianic reign and the reign of the martyrs mentioned are coequal, but this, let me repeat, is only an assumption. The text in no wise makes it clear that such is, in fact or deed, the case. Nothing in the text of Revelation 20:4 itself prevents the truth from being this: John here sees first century martyrs, who at death joined with Christ in his own messianic reign, which he had then already been exercising since the time that he commenced it at his ascension to the right hand of the Father!    

The present messianic reign of Christ is an objective fact of biblical revelation that is not contingent upon the approval or responses of men or nations, including the so-called nation of Israel. So what, if some racial Jews do not yet accept the fact that Jesus is Messiah and the reigning Lord? Shall their unbelief make the faith of Christ of no effect? God forbid, Yea let God be true, and every man a liar! (Romans 3:3-4).

If Jesus messiahship and messianic kingdom were dependant upon the approval or acceptance of the Jews for its validity, then that would make the designs of Almighty God subservient to the whim of men. This manner of thinking, when logically pressed out to it full implications, circulates around to being  mere theological humanism. Such theological/ideological humanism overthrows the entire system of divine revelation!

Seen in this, light dispensational theology, despite all its boasted claims to "biblical fundamentalism"  and "Christian orthodoxy"   is  in all reality but liberalism to the core and liberalism in disguise.

    At the core of the Christian religion lies the revelation of Christ's present messianic reign and realized messianic kingdom. To subvert the kingdom and the reign by the arbitrary preemption of messianic content from the life and teaching of the modern Christian Church, is to deny the apostolic faith, and to enter the barren wasteland of spiritual bankruptcy and moral apostasy.

    May God help the modern Wesleyan Holiness Movement see this truth and wake up. Second Blessing Holiness—the true messianic kingdom--can become a dynamic force again, if we are willing to shed the antinomian ideologies of apostasy now sucking the life-blood out of our churches and our schools and return unto the Bible.

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