Kingdom Conversations – Kingdom Now?

I received an email last week from someone who logged on to my website.  I was very thankful that he took the time to write.  Many people may log on, but to get an email from someone is always exciting.  Here is what they wrote:

The kindgom of God has already been established. At the last supper, Jesus said that we would not drink of the cup again until he drank it anew with his disciples in the kingdom.

“After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished (note this–it was all finished at this point), that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar (literally sour wine, a drink imbibed by Roman centurions): and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished (complete, as in the attainment of a goal): and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

John 19:28-30

Jesus’ kingdom was established at the end of his crucifixion. We are here to establish that kingdom, ruling and reigning in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Blessings!

I took from this email that the email believes that the Kingdom of God is already established and began at the final moments of the crucifixion.  I have heard these points being made before.  In fact I can remember listening to an entire sermon on this perspective on the Kingdom.

Here was my reply to the email:

Thanks for logging on and taking the time to write.  You are making some interesting comments.  Here are some follow up questions to your points:

Can you think of a time when Jesus drank wine again with his disciples?  This would be a sign of the Kingdom being established.  In Isaiah 25 and other places we see the vision of what the Kingdom of God will be like, including a glorious messianic banquet where the King of the Kingdom will sit at the head of the table with the likes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This surely has not happened yet.  The fact that Jesus did drink of the vinegar or sour wine is not the same as him “drinking it anew with his disciples in the Kingdom.”

Jesus shares this view of the banquet in the coming Kingdom when he says the following:

Luke 13:28-29 – “In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. And they will come from east and west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”

You then said: “Jesus’ kingdom was established at the end of his crucifixion”

That statement is a big problematic considering Mark (and Luke 23:50-52) record the following after the crucifixion:

Mark 15:43 – “Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. ”

Joseph was “waiting for the Kingdom of God.”  Thus it did not come at the crucifixion by Jesus saying “it is finished.”  Instead I believe he is referring to the sacrificial payment that he was making for all others – so that they could enter the Kingdom when it does come!  The context of him saying “it is finished” is not about the Kingdom of God.

Finally you said “We are here to establish that kingdom, ruling and reigning in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

At first this strikes me as odd because I thought that you said the Kingdom was already established.  I don’t think the church in general is doing a good job of “ruling and reigning in righteousness, peace and joy” considering all of the chaos that is in this world – don’t you think the coming of the Kingdom when the king himself comes back makes sense – especially considering the Scripture speaks of the time when Jesus returns as the time when all that is wrong with the world is made right?

Matthew 25:31-32 – “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats”

I’m so glad that you emailed me.  The Kingdom of God is such a critical issue to understand and live in light of.  That we know just what it is all about is so important.

Look forward to talking to you more.  Bless GOD

This is an interesting perspective that our emailer holds.  Can you think of anything else one could add in a discussion with someone who holds this view?

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8 responses to this post.

  1. We are exhorted to “shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

    Reply

  2. Ben, thanks for logging on. I am curious your thinking behind your last comment. Thanks.

    Reply

  3. Paul’s words tell us that there are some who say that the resurrection is past already, and he tells us that the result of that saying is the overthrow of the faith of some.

    There are a number of teachers today that are teaching the same thing, and a number of believers who hear it or even repeat it. Although the language of “the resurrection” is not used since most people would realize that such an assertion is preposterous, the effects of that event are instead purported to be accomplished.

    Sometimes the argument for such claims are based “in faith” or “by faith.” In fact, this is fideism not faith and its acceptance necessitates a dualistic reality since as you genuinely observed, the church is not ruling and reigning over the earth and there is chaos in the world.

    Satan is obviously not presently confined to the bottomless pit and we cannot restrain him therein by simply wishing, hoping, or confessing it “by faith.” There are a good many believers who have not received healing, and we ought not to suggest to them that they just need to claim it by faith because the kingdom is already established and they have only themselves to blame for missing the boat.

    It is not hard to see the implications of the claim that the Kingdom of God is come to pass already and how it overthrows the faith of those who are so led astray.

    “We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation.”

    I will not stop watching and waiting until that Day comes.

    Reply

    • Posted by Tony on September 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      The kingdom doesn’t come by observation. Christ Himself always taught in parables. What did he say to nicodemus about speaking natural things and spiritual things? Christ work is finished when will it be finished in you?

      Reply

  4. Posted by JohnO on June 2, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Amen Ben, I saw your site and was glad to see that others are out witnessing this truth.

    What do you believe is the Gospel?

    Reply

  5. Another indication that the Kingdom has not been esablished yet is that when the disciples asked in Acts 1 if Jesus was going to restore the Kingdom to Israel, he said that it was not for them to know the times or seasons, indicating that it would be restored some time in the future. BUT, he said that they would receive power when the holy spirit would come upon them in a few days. The Kingdom can’t be the same as the outpouring of the holy spirit then (although it is called an earnest, or a downpayment, that is, a foretaste of what was to come).

    Reply

  6. Posted by Jeff Downs on June 5, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    The works of Meridith Kline maybe of interest to you, especially his Kingdom Prologue.

    Reply

  7. Excellent point Mark. Thanks for your involvement in this discussion.

    Mark has some great resources and a new discussion page on his site. Check him out at:

    http://www.godskingdomfirst.net/index.htm

    Bless GOD
    -Victor

    Reply

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