2 Tim 3.16-17
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Appendix: The Current and Future Kingdom of the Lord Christ

There is no lack of articles on the web concerning the current and future kingdom of the Lord Christ. These have been written, of course, as one means of challenging the eschatological errors of Covenant Theology.

Is the Lord Christ ruling over His creation now? Yes, absolutely!

Note the eloquent and beautiful description by the LORD’s apostle to the Gentiles:

Eph 1.18-23
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

However, it is just as important to note what the Apostle did not say.

He did not in Eph 1 indicate in any way that the Lord Christ’s current rule over his creation was physical, with a physical throne in a physical Jerusalem, from and through which all the nations of the earth have been brought into subjection. So in this sense only the Kingdom of the Lord Christ currently is spiritual. In this sense, and only in this sense, the CT is correct.

The purpose of this appendix is to show, from the Scriptures, that this is only part of the truth. This is an example, to quote from myself, of the “grain of truth deceptively hidden in a bucket of error.”

Rather than an extensive cataloguing of the many verses accurately used for each state (the "now" and "then") of the Lord’s kingdom, I’ve chosen rather to pick a very few critical texts and discuss them for their "efficient" statements regarding the Kingdom of the Lord Christ.

Luk 1.32-33
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Luk 1.32-33 is the Eph 1 side of the issue. (Please note the four instances of the future tense highlighted above.) That One to be born to Mary will receive the throne of David. But what is the time frame? Does the remainder of Luke’s gospel show us that this was fulfilled? Do any of the gospels show this was fulfilled? How about the Epistles?

NO, none of them show its fulfillment!

If these verses were fulfilled at the first advent of the Lord Christ:

  1. Where is the throne of David, and where is the Lord Christ upon that throne? Where can I see His reign over the house of Israel and the house of Jacob and the earth generally?
  2. That reign is supposed to be forever, but it is evident that it hasn’t even started!
  3. Given that the gospel of Luke was written after the death and resurrection of the Lord Christ, I would expect the aorist and/or perfect tense to be used somewhere before the end of the Gospel to record the "fact" of the presence of the glorious kingdom of the Lord Christ as predicted in Luk 1. It’s not there.
  4. The CT wouldn't have to go through the fantastic convolutions it does to attempt to force a re-interpretation of historical facts into the narrative of Amillennial and/or Postmillennial eschatology.

 


On the other side of the issue (and two of my very favorite verses) are these:

Psa 110.1
The Lord says to my Lord:

“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”

1 Cor 15.20-28
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.

Let’s look again at a clip from Dr. Belcher:

"The fullness of Christ's Kingdom, however, has not yet come. The manifestation of Christ as king to the world awaits his future coming when he will appear in glory at the end of the age, the enemies of God will be defeated, and God's people receive the fullness of their inheritance." [ch 8, pg 131, emphasis mine]

It looks as if Dr. Belcher and the Apostle are saying the same things. But a closer look reveals something else. What did the Apostle say?

“… when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”

Let this be very clear: the enemies will not be defeated at the event (that is, the beginning) of the return of the Lord Christ. Rather, it will be a process that, according to prophecy, will take exactly 1000 years. (See below.)

The nature of the earthly rule of the Lord Christ upon the throne of David is that it will be a reign in which steady progress against the forces of evil and their varied authorities and powers will ultimately be vanquished. This is the power of that little preposition "until"!

Has this occurred in the last two millennia? Is there any sign of progress? No, not by any means. If nothing else, the powers of evil have steadily increased in that period. If the Lord Christ is actively ruling and “[putting] all His enemies under His feet”, then He is doing a very poor job indeed!

[In fact, as I’ll show below, evil must steadily increase until His return.]

This is the eschatological reality which the CT must face! The “spiritual" kingdom narrative simply won’t do, even with the assertion (above) by Dr. Belcher! The CT "flies in the face" of the certainty and glory of 1 Cor 15.20-28.

[As you study 1 Cor 15.20-28, it is abundantly clear that the Apostle had Psa 110.1 in mind; in fact, I believe it would be correct to say that 1 Cor 15.20-28 is Paul’s exposition of Psa 110.1:

“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”]

A vital, one-in-all-time "state change" must happen first to the rule of the Lord Christ.

Let me put it this way: Where is the Lord Christ now? He is seated at the right hand of the Father – which must mean that He is not seated on the earth on the throne of David. (A simple concordance search will establish that fact beyond any controversy.)

Where will He be seated? In Jerusalem on the Throne of David receiving the kingdom handed to Him by the Father – a kingdom in which all manner of evil powers and authorities dwell, powers and authorities which intend to fight to the death to maintain their power. That active rule of the Lord Christ must and will continue UNTIL each and every one of the them have been vanquished!

This text must have escaped the notice of the CT:

Rev 1.7
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

Therefore, when the Lord Christ returns,

  • it will be an event noticed around the world,
  • it will be an event noticed by those who have died (“those who pierced Him”),
  • it will be in full view of His enemies,
  • it will cause global mourning and consternation among the world’s cultures (because they are enemies of the Lord Christ),
  • it will be a rule that will actively begin the steady extermination of all evil powers,
  • it will be a rule which will continues until all evil powers have been eliminated (the Millennium),
  • it will be a rule that is complete when the Lord Christ hands that kingdom back to the Father and
  • it will be a rule, which when completed, launches the culmination of the End of the Age.

Does any of this sound like the current "Millennial" rule of the Lord Christ declared by the CT? NO!

Again, as the Apostle exposits Psa 110.1, he repeats the key preposition:

“For He must reign until …”

It is the opening verses of Rev 20 that makes it abundantly clear that this rule will be for 1000 years:

Rev 20.1-7
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison.

I have read the tortured and convolved ways the Amillennialist and Postmillennialist "interpret" this passage. ("Shred" would be a more accurate verb.) I believe the simplest explanation is the best: the Apostle John meant to tell us that this period of time should be understood as 1000 years, and to be sure that that is what we were to understand, he repeated it six times!

[Only those "theologians" who have the Amil/Postmil narrative to maintain reject the simple, direct understanding of Rev 20.1-7.]

The fact that all demonic/Satanic activity would be eliminated from the human equation does not alter the fact that man is fallen and will still actively sin during that time.

[I refer to the casting of the Dragon (Satan) into the Abyss (presumably with his demons as well.]

As I’ve shown above, there will be plenty of evil even though demonic/Satanic inspiration will not be present. In case anyone still wonders about these truths, I want to draw your attention again to one phrase:

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus …”

This tells us that the Lord’s elect will face increasing levels of persecution – evil is increasing and will reach its zenith when the Lord Christ finally returns. The same thought is found here:

Rev 6.9-10
When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

Again, when the Lord Christ returns, it will be to a planet of His enemies, enemies found in every corner of the earth!

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