When Will His Kingdom Come?

Often when I consider the subject of His kingdom I am reminded of a scene from the movie, "Passion of the Christ", in which Jesus is standing in the presence of Pilate because the Jews have asked that he be put to death for calling himself the Son of God.

The bible describes the scene starting in John 18:28 as follows:

28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman governor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover.

29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

“But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.

33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?

34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, for this very reason I was born and came into the world, to testify to this truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

What is the significance of this scene some 2000 years later?  Very simple. Jesus was born to be a king! There never existed a king who had no "kingdom". And as far as kings go they are usually always in the process of enlarging the borders of their kingdom. It's simply one of the things that comes with being a king.

Now in verse 36 Jesus tells us that His kingdom is not of this world, but also "for this reason I was born and came into this world". What reason is he speaking of here? Nothing less than he came into this world to establish [expand] his kingdom here on earth.

Defining a Kingdom

So as to keep things in their proper perspective let's first establish an acceptable definition for a kingdom. As it relates to the bible, preachers and theologians have tried to spiritualize away the meaning, because they are not carefully examining God's definition. An acceptable definition is found at Daniel 2:39, which refers to the kingdoms mentioned in the dream that Daniel interpreted, as "which shall bear rule over all the earth". This can't possibly be a reference to a nebulous idea about a kingdom in the "hearts of men". There is also no way to to make this definition fit any particular church. This definition speaks of rulership by governments with authority over literal nations on earth - over literal people.

The coming kingdom of Christ can be viewed in this same context. When he returns to establish his kingdom on earth it will align itself with this definition, His kingdom "shall bear rule over all the earth", and it will do so through His government which will replace all current governments.

Numerous times Jesus makes reference that certain things had to happen because it had been prophesied. He was always very aware of the prophecies concerning his life.  Here is what Isaiah prophesied about Christ:

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

That truth alone should cause many a current government ruler to shake in his proverbial boots. When Christ establishes God's government on earth, it will usher in peace for all nations. But we still need to address the question of "When?".

A Clue About His Coming Kingdom

The good news we can all draw from this is that even though we have done a poor job of ruling this earth for several thousand years, and during much of this time there has been a war going on in some part of the world, the return of Jesus signifies the beginning of his reign and the end of our incompetent self-rule.

During a sermon in the Book of Acts, Peter makes an interesting statement concerning His kingdom [kingdom of God] and a future time:

19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:19-21)

Well, every Christian knows that heaven has received Christ "until" the restoration of everything has taken place, according to the bible. But take note that this "restoration" has not yet happened - hence the word "until". The bible documents that every one of God's servants has preached that the time is coming when Christ will return and "everything" will be "restored". 

I am of the belief that God's kingdom and his government had been established on earth once before prior to Satan's rebellion. There can be no reference to a rebellion unless there was some form of governmental structure in place somewhere prior to mankind showing up on the scene. There are many references to this rebellion:

  • Revelation 12:7-9
  • Luke 10:18
  • Isaiah 14:12-14
  • Ezekiel 28:12-19

The book of Jude (Ch 1:14-15) records the preaching of Enoch, some 4500 years before the flood:

"14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones [saints] 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

This passage gives us a very clear picture. It reveals that the saints (all true Christians) are coming with Christ to judge the world - to judge "all" according to their conduct. If you've read this far and are paying attention then you're probably still wondering about the timing of His kingdom.

I can't deal with this issue as it needs to be in this writing, however, I can leave you with some clues so you can do your own research and get further clarification.

Insight to His Kingdom Coming from Daniel

 The prophet Daniel understood that the kingdom of God was a literal government that would one day rule over real people and real nations on earth. Through a series of dreams and visions (1:17), God used him to explain so we can understand today about how and when His kingdom would come to earth.

Keep in mind that all that Daniel was shown at that time was meant to be "closed up"  and "sealed" until the time of "the end". Well my dear friend we are now in the time of the end and we have many proofs of this. Through his message we will see that Daniel preached the same gospel that Jesus preached so its important to understand what he said.

In chapter two he writes to us about the Chaldean (Babylonian) King Nebuchadnezzar about matters that had come to the king in a dream. This vast kingdom existed some 600 years before the time of Christ.

The kings court magicians could not interpret the kings dreams. It was God's purpose to reveal these things to a wordly human king, that the Almighty Living God placed all kings, nations and governments in subjection to Him. Now this king didn't know anything more than what the other kings knew along with their many false gods.

We find out through Daniels writings that it was the true God's intent to reveal the existence of HIS government and that it rules the entire universe. It was also His intent to make it plain that it was His purpose to bring His government to the earth in the latter days.

The sequence of events that must unfold before God's government and his kingdom are ushered in can be found in Daniel 2:28-44. This passage gives us the description of a symbolic man. The head is described as being of fine gold, his breast and arms are of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, his feet part iron and part clay.

This man is made up of four distinct parts. Then in verses 34-35 we read of a supernatural stone that smote the image and became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. I want you to notice that this stone which is referred to in verse 34 was a stone that "was cut out without hands" because God, not men, had formed it.

This man symbolizes the four major governments (kingdoms) that were to rule the earth prior to the return of Christ. David states in verse 37, "You O King are a king of kings: for the God of Heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." In verse 38 we are reassured that David is indeed referring to King Nebuchadnezzar.

From that point we learn in verses 39-40 that there are three successive kingdoms that would follow the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon as depicted by the different metals of which the giant statue was made of. These were literal kingdoms:

  1. the Chaldean-Babylonian Empire of Gold
  2. the Medo-Persian Empire of Silver
  3. the Greco-Roman Empire of Brass
  4. the Roman Empire, made of iron mixed wit clay in its final appearance

In summary, what we learn from Daniel, and from history, is that these four kingdoms will rule the earth and the fourth kingdom will once more rule and influence the world until the kingdom of God is established on earth. If you're wondering when exactly will the fourth kingdom once again rule or influence the world you need look no further then the European Union.

I don't believe that it has yet taken it's final form because there is a great deal of uneasiness in the countries of Europe with regard to how it responds to the exterior forces such as Russia and Iran. Eventually I see one of the nations within the European Union rising up to take the lead economically and militarily for Europe in response to external pressure placed upon it.

The only country within this union that is able to fill this role is Germany at this time. If we indeed see a German ruler, or strongman, step forward to lead this union of nations I believe that we will then see the resurrection of this fourth kingdom as mentioned in Daniel. Once that happens the return of Christ will soon take place, though no one knows exactly when.

Take comfort in knowing that all kingdoms and governments take place only under the sovereignty of God. He is in control. Each falls and rises as he desires to fulfill his purposes. The United States of America, though not mentioned specifically in these prophecies has played a large part in world events particularly as it pertains to spreading the Gospel. What will become of America during these last days is pure speculation until the spirit of God gives more revelation of these last days. Whether we understand these events or not is not a determining factor in the return of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom. His Kingdom: As Preached by Jesus...Forgotten by Us

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