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A second look at Dr Peter Bolt's view of Jesus going TO the Ancient of Days

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by eclipsenow, Mar 21, 2022.

  1. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    The point of the passage is that Jesus will judge and separate out those who were not trusting in him enough to be about his work. The point is to see the image of God in our brother, repent, and act accordingly. The point is don't be a goat! It is NOT a metaphysical, philosophical break down of exactly HOW this material universe will be renovated, WHEN it will be renovated, what eschatological timetable all this occurs on, etc. The focus is on the gospel. It's that Jesus will return as judge. Sure that doesn't answer all our pedantic questions - but since when was Jesus about addressing idle curiosity?

    There's a throne, and all the nations gathered before him. Where? How? When? Exactly what it would be like? These are not the concerns of the passage. Who Jesus is, and who are the sheep and goats are.

    You're getting into an argument from silence and motivated reasoning. These issues are NOT the concern of the passage.
     
  2. Spiritual Jew

    Spiritual Jew Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I indicated that Jesus will deliver His kingdom to the Father when He returns at the end of the age and I referenced Matthew 13:40-43 and 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 in support of that. Can you please address those scriptures first before I address the scriptures you brought up? You frequently ignore points that others make and then you fully expect us to address the points you make. That's not how discussions are supposed to work. How do you interpret this passage:

    Matthew 13:40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

    Do you agree that Jesus will return at the end of the age? If so, what did Jesus indicate that the kingdom will be called at that point and what does that imply about the timing of Jesus delivering the kingdom to the Father?
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
  3. Spiritual Jew

    Spiritual Jew Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll address this one thing you said for now while I wait for you to actually address what I said in the post you responded to.

    Where exactly does Matthew 25:31 indicate that He's coming to the earth? You're acting as if it explicitly says that which it absolutely does not. So, I don't understand why you think you're proving something here when that couldn't be further from the truth. In the case of the GWTJ, it says the heavens and the earth flee from His presence before that takes place, so that indicates that the heavens and the earth (as we know them) will have passed away before it takes place. That doesn't allow for the judgment to take place on earth.

    So, all anyone can do is speculate as to where it takes place. It could be the new earth or somewhere else. It simply does not tell us that anywhere, including in Matthew 25. Why can't you acknowledge that instead of acting like you somehow know where it takes place when the truth is that no one does because it doesn't say? You somehow think you have proof to show that it takes place on earth even though you didn't present any evidence for that whatsoever.
     
  4. Timtofly

    Timtofly Well-Known Member

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    "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:"

    The Second Coming brings Christ to earth: shall come. He left heaven and came to earth. He brings the angels: with Him. They left heaven to come to earth as well. The nations are gathered, not the dead. Nations call for an earthly setting. Nations do not assemble in heaven. Nations will not assemble at the GWT. Revelation 20 states only the dead. Matthew 25 is not the GWT, not literally, nor symbolically.

    Yes the dead will be judged by their works, at the GWT. They are not the redeemed. Are you saying the sheep are "the dead" and not redeemed? Those Nations appearing in Jerusalem before that glorious throne, are not dead people. They are alive and about to be sentenced to their eternal destination. They will become physically dead people. One to eternal life with a new physical body. The other to eternal damnation, body or no body, damnation is still Death.
     
  5. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    Internet forums do that to us now and then, hey?
     
  6. RandyPNW

    RandyPNW Well-Known Member

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    Resurrection can be expressed in more than one way. It can be described as you indicate, as "anastasis."

    Rev 11.18 The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small— and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

    Rev 14.13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”

    I don't see heavenly thrones and earthly thrones to necessarily be a dichotomy. While it is true that at times the Kingdom of heaven remains in heaven and not on the earth, at a future time I believe the Kingdom of heaven will come to the earth.

    What this means to me is that a "heavenly Kingdom" identifies the Kingdom as "God's" Kingdom, whether it remains in heaven or descends to the earth. If it descends to the earth it does not stop being the heavenly Kingdom of God.

    Are heavenly things unable to become earthly things as well? Jesus indicated that in his own person the Kingdom of God had drawn near to the earth. That means the heavenly Kingdom was somehow mystically present on the earth while Jesus was on the earth.

    There is no necessary separation of heaven and earth in terms of geographical location, since the heavens, ie the universe, encompasses the earth, as well. It's just that presently, fallen Man keeps the heavenly Kingdom removed from us, except through the Holy Spirit and the acts of God in redeeming Man.

    One day, the full regalia of the Kingdom will arrive on the earth, I believe. The Prophets, and NT Eschatology, seem to indicate that.
     
  7. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    Do you have a degree in theology?

    The Kingdom of heaven is reigning from heaven as it slowly grows on the earth through the church. "My kingdom is not of this world" is NOT up for grabs - separation of the church and state is a Christian idea going back thousands of years. (It's based on Paul's belief that each should be convinced in their own minds - from which we also get the Christian principle of freedom of religion - the law doesn't have the power to save, etc.)

    SO this means the 'kingdom' of the church should look like it does until the Lord returns to rule. The problem is that always involves everything else around THAT DAY - including a New Heaven and New Earth.

    Yes - on THAT DAY the two will become one - but all death and immorality and sin and marriage will cease as well.

    YES - until THAT DAY.

    YES - because on Earth the kingdom is the church, like the tip of the iceberg announcing that there's a lot more under the surface of the waters. (The rest of the iceberg being the heavenly kingdom - the church universal - secret - kept by God in safety - all the dead martyrs and saints. Until THAT DAY.)

    Interesting language - but I sort of agree.

    It's not geography but timing.
    Not location but the ages.
    Trying to locate a physical Millennium here - in this universe - is like insisting there were people back in the Jurassic. It's messing up when things are meant to happen, indeed, which whole world is meant to contain what.

    The rest of the NT shows us that it all happens at the one moment and there are really horrible inconsistencies if you try to split these events up! It's called the two ages model and it is so clear once you see the relevant verses together.
    A Present or Future Millennium? by Kim Riddlebarger
     
  8. DavidPT

    DavidPT Well-Known Member

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    Of course He is already King of His kingdom right now. And guess what He is not doing right now? He is not handing the kingdom over to the Father yet, therefore, if He waits to do it way after He returns, in order that everything that needs to be fulfilled first has time to get fulfilled, it still makes Him King of His kingdom the same way it already does.

    That clearly happens in the end of this age, but that is involving the sheep and goats judgment, not the great white throne judgment. The sheep and goats judgment involves the ones Jesus said He never knew(Mathew 7), meaning the goats. Except we are not on the same page regarding the sheep and goats judgment, which is weird since you are of the NOSAS camp, which means you should be able to discern what the sheep and goats judgment is involving, except you can't because you apparently can't make it fit with Amil if I am correct about that judgment.


    That's because those within the NT church that don't stay saved, they are removed from the kingdom entirely.

    Can you not see in the text in Matthew 25 that those who are standing on the left side, Jesus addresses them as group and that they answer Him as a group? This tells us it is a judgment involving only certain type of ppl, not everyone instead.

    Let's suppose for a moment that it is involving all of the lost since the beginning of time. Cain would be among the lost, I doubt anyone would dispute that, so let's use him as an example.

    Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    Then shall Cain also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw I thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

    Come on, that doesn't fit and surely you have to know it doesn't. So why not at least admit it since Cain lived way way way way before Jesus was born, therefore it is ludicrous to place him among the goats at this judgment. As to the GWTJ, it is not ludicrous to have Cain standing among the others in that judgment though, since that judgment isn't meaning the sheep and goats judgment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2022
  9. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    Not in actuality - but ruling from heaven still works. Matt 24 and Daniel 7 still works as Peter Bolt reads it. Daniel 7:

    “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

    This verse is a good description of the gospel era we are in.

    Depends what you mean by 'that' - by the handing over of the kingdom. I'm not sure how many verses use this phrase by the way.

    But Revelation 5 sure seems to describe the gospel events as qualifying Jesus to reign now, through the church now, as a 'nation' and people now, from every nation now. And that sounds a lot like Daniel 7!

    Revelation 5

    And they sang a new song, saying:

    “You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
    because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
    10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign on the earth.”

    11 Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. 12 In a loud voice they were saying:

    “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honor and glory and praise!”

    13 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:

    “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
    for ever and ever!”

    14 The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.​
     
  10. DavidPT

    DavidPT Well-Known Member

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    The major problem I see with that, concerning Revelation 5, a lot of Amils, so maybe not all Amils, have the saved saints literally continuing the thousand year reign in heaven upon death. That contradicts that the text in Revelation 5 says we shall reign on the earth. Nowhere does it say in this chapter that we shall reign in heaven.
     
  11. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    Regarding the church on the earth - I think the problem is you appear to be over-realising your eschatology of 'reign' on the Earth. That is, too many Millennial assumptions are leaking through into what you imagine that reign to be like. Sorry, but this is it. Forgiven sinners spreading the gospel. That's the church 'reign' now, even with the wolves in sheep's clothing lik Ravi Zaccharius and Mark Driscoll and all that. So we've got to stay on guard, and heed the symbolic warnings of Revelation.
     
  12. DavidPT

    DavidPT Well-Known Member

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    What about the martyrs recorded in Revelation 20:4? Doesn't the text indicate they reign with Christ after they have been martyred? How do they do that on earth, in any sense, after they have died unless they are bodily raised first? In the meantime they are not in bodies yet, nor are they still physically present on earth, yet the text indicates they live and reign with Christ a thousand years after they are martyred. As if a thousand years is relevant in heaven, a place that is obviously timeless.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2022
  13. RandyPNW

    RandyPNW Well-Known Member

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    No. Been to Bible School. Have you read anything on the Kingdom of God?

    I don't agree. The Separation of Church and State is a Roger Williams thing in the US. The separation of secular rulers from ecclesiastical rulers is a separation of jobs, and not a separation of religion itself. Many of the rulers in Europe throughout history have been Christian rulers. They just weren't priests or bishops or whatever.

    The modern secularization of former Christian States in Europe is, I believe, the great Apostasy the Apostle Paul referred to in 2 Thes 2. It is a definitive dilution of the Christian Religion in politics, exchanging "one God" for "any God."

    We agree that the *eschatological Kingdom* is not yet. It remains "near," as Jesus indicated. It is not yet *here!*

    But that is not the same thing as saying the Kingdom of God does not dwell in temporal forms in the present age. Jesus said the Kingdom of God would be taken from Israel and be given to a more worthy nation. I believe that "nation" was the Roman Empire and ultimately European Civilization.

    Exactly, the Church is a temporal form of God's Kingdom presently on the earth. And the Church includes politicians--not just priests! Christian States were formed--not just Christian minorities within pagan States!

    Don't agree. It's all about geography, though it also involves timing. Again, the eschatological Kingdom is not yet here, so that it is indeed a matter of timing.

    But it also involves geography. If the eschatological Kingdom is not yet here, then geographically it is not yet here.

    On the other hand, if there are indeed temporal forms of the Kingdom of God, such as in OT Israel or in Christian States in Europe, then geographically, the Kingdom has been here indeed!

    An interesting read on this subject is by George E. Ladd, "The Presence of the Future." I'm sure I don't agree with Ladd in everything he says, but he covers a lot of the different positions on this subject fairly. I read it just before Ladd died back in the late 70s.

    Please don't expect to get any support for my position in current religious works. We are in the midst of a great Apostasy, and people tend to follow leaders right off the cliff. I recommend you go back in history a ways to find out if what I'm saying is accurate or not. Many today just don't want to hear it.

    It's not as if we can actually succeed in re-creating Christian States, since they are presently falling away. But we should present the Kingdom of God in its ideal form, whether it is practical or not. To offer a tainted view of the Kingdom, as if it is tolerant of all religions and tolerant of all moral systems, is an abomination to God, in my understanding.

    We should not proclaim the Kingdom of liberal Western States, but rather, the Kingdom of God. We should proclaim "no other gods," and not, "religious pluralism."
     
  14. claninja

    claninja Well-Known Member

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    since this event was also to occur during “this generation” I view this as the same event as the servants gathering the good and bad into the wedding feast following the destruction of the original wedding guests who murdered the king’s servants

    Matthew 22:7-10 7The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. 9Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ 10And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests.

    Matthew 24:31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

    Gills exposition of Matthew 24:31
    “And he shall send his angels,.... Not the angels, i.e. ministering spirits, so called, not from their nature, but their office, as being sent forth by God and Christ; but men angels, or messengers, the ministers and preachers of the Gospel, whom Christ would call, qualify, and send forth into all the world of the Gentiles, to preach his Gospel, and plant churches there still more, when that at Jerusalem was broken up and dissolved. These are called "angels", because of their mission, and commission from Christ, to preach the Gospel; and because of their knowledge and understanding in spiritual things; and because of their zeal, diligence, and watchfulness,”
     
  15. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    A lot of good questions there - but probably stemming from reading it too literally from generations of Scofield influence in the culture. Some Amils think the whole thing is a hypothetical - a thought exercise in 'even if'. That is, 'even if' Satan were to be bound for a gazillion years and then let loose, all his rage would amount to nothing.

    But that's a relatively new idea I just heard on my favourite Podcast "Undeceptions". (Apologetics by my friend Dr John Dickson. His latest on the 'science wars' is shaping up to be a classic.)

    I'll have to have a think and chat about that one with some of my theologian mates - as I myself am not a theologian but I happen to be very spoilt in knowing some of the best minds on the planet. EG: I know a few lecturers in bible colleges - some of whom are in the top 10 experts in their fields.

    But the standard Amil view is that this is NOT unfolding some weird irrelevant factoids to John's generation about some vastly distant, unimaginably strange future. It's NOT saying "Beware on Mars 4000AD, where the Shiger and Miger and Biger will be." Which is basically how weird today's world would sound to them. What's this "Turkey" business? John called it Asia Minor. Etc. No no no - that will not do. John was writing to his generation about their suffering.

    The Millennium reminds them that even if they're executed for being Christian, they're safe in Christ even as history plays out below. The gazillion years.

    Also, I'd love someone to show me 1000 used in the context of time that is actually demonstrably literal? EVERY instance I can see of 1000 in the bible - specifically as used to describe time - is symbolic for a gazillion years or even eternity.

    Deuteronomy 7:9 - "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."
    = Is the literal futurist really bold enough to insist God is only faithful for a thousand generations? A generation was 40 years - so in 40,000 years God is unfaithful!!!???

    Psalms 84:10 - "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."
    = Is one day at church better than 1000 days aka 2.7 years, or is this a qualitative assessment of where it is better to DWELL for a long time?

    Psalm 105:8 - "He remembers his covenant FOREVER, the promise he made, for a THOUSAND generations"
    = Well, which is it? Forever, or a thousand generations / 40,000 years?
     
  16. RandyPNW

    RandyPNW Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to intrude--I haven't been following this thread much, nor even this forum. However, you make some interesting points, and I thought I'd take up your challenge. First, your point is reasonable, that if 1000 *always* applies to some unimaginable number like "the sands of the sea," then it is likely to mean that in Rev 20.

    However, working against this is the lack of any indication that "1000" has this kind of technical meaning in the Bible. It may be used frequently as an exaggerated amount, but it certainly isn't defined as such, nor does is the importance of the context lessened by a few uses of the word in just a few cases.

    There is an interpretive fallacy that denies that kind of applied word use in different contexts, as if the word defines the context, and not the other way around. I prefer the "context first" approach.

    But Scofield and Darby's focus on a modern Premil viewpoint does not begin to define arguments for a literal future 1000 years. This belief existed in the form of the Millennial Day theory back in the early Church.

    Even more so, the Prophets were interpreted by both Jew and Christian alike as indicating a future realm on the earth in which Israel was restored, and Abraham's promise of "many nations" would be fulfilled. A future era of 1000 years would meet that requirement.

    The Apostle John apparently opposed the heretic Cerinthus, who was opposed for his salacious view of an earthly Kingdom of God. But the early Premills certainly supported the idea of a thousand year earthly Kingdom of God. Amillennialism appeared to get a stranglehold on the Church much later.

    If I'm completely missing the mark in this particular conversation, I apologize. I just found it randomly, and thought it interesting.
     
  17. keras

    keras Writer of studies on Bible prophecy

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    Too bad that Jesus said the truths of prophecy are hidden from the wise and learned people. Matthew 11:25
    And Paul said: Scripture says: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and bring to nothing the cleverness of the clever.
    Where is your wise man now, any person of great learning? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish
    . 1 Corinthians 1:19-20

    Doesn't the fact that 'experts' cannot arrive at any kind of consensus about Bible Prophecy, raise a red flag of suspicion of their abilities?
    I find that to just simply read ALL the Prophecies, a coherent and logical sequence of events emerges.

    The attempts to make one thousand years, as mentioned six times in Rev 20, to not mean one thousand years, is a prime example of the foolishness of this world.
     
  18. eclipsenow

    eclipsenow God cares about his creation as well as us.

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    The Goldsworthy Trilogy is excellent - especially "Gospel and Kingdom".
    The Goldsworthy Trilogy: Gospel and Kingdom, Wisdom, and Revelation by Graeme Goldsworthy

    But oversimplified, it's because it's the Upside Down kingdom that he reigns now through the church.


    The kingdom of servant hearted love and sharing the gospel. But that might seem trite given we are probably talking about images of the Kingdom from the OT, from the NT and now, and then the future. What is the definition? I found this article. I hope it is helpful. You have asked a lot of questions and I have copied them into my notes to work on through the week (I'm a bit busy atm), but I hope to get back to you about other things you raised. You've done me the courtesy of hearing me and my points - and I should go the extra mile for you. (Unlike some other commenters here that just shout or get all 'holier than thou'.) But for now I'll hand you over to this article:-
    ___________________________


    DEFINITION
    The kingdom of God is the rule of God over his people in his creation, established through his Messiah in the new covenant, which is now present in the world, though it is awaiting its fulfillment at the second coming of Christ.

    SUMMARY
    The kingdom of God is central to the biblical story of redemption. The story follows the narrative of the fall of Adam and Eve, the calling of the nation of Israel, and the coming of the promised Messiah. When Jesus came as the Messiah, he established God’s kingdom in the new covenant through his death and resurrection, and now reigns from heaven. One day he will return to consummate the blessings of the kingdom, at which time he will set up the new Eden of God’s kingdom in the new heavens and new earth. In the meantime, we live in the already and not yet of the kingdom, serving our King and looking for his return.
    “The kingdom is the King’s power over the King’s people in the King’s place” (see Patrick Schreiner, The Kingdom of God and the Glory of the Cross, 18). The kingdom of God has its roots in the Old Testament and is launched in Christ’s public ministry, as he teaches, performs miracles, and casts out demons (Matt. 13:1–50; 12:28). The life, death, and resurrection of Christ accomplishes the kingdom promises of a new covenant. When Jesus ascends to God’s right hand, the place of greatest power, the kingdom expands (Eph. 1:20–21), and thousands enter the kingdom through the apostles’s preaching (Acts 2:41, 47). The fullness of the kingdom awaits Christ’s return, when he will sit on his glorious throne (Matt. 25:31). Jesus will judge the world, inviting believers into the final stage of the kingdom while banishing unbelievers to hell (25:34, 41).

    Kingdom of God, Past
    The kingdom of God speaks of God’s universal rule (Ps. 103:17–22; Dan. 4:34–35; 7:13–14), but it is also his particular rule over his people. Even though the expression “kingdom of God” does not appear in the Old Testament, the concept does, with God reigning over his people Israel in a unique sense (Exod. 19:6). God creates humankind for his glory, making promises of a deliverer to Adam and Eve, a nation to come from Abraham that will bless the world, and an eternal kingdom to David and his descendants, which include the Messiah.

    God creates for his glory and his people’s good. He creates human beings in his image to love and serve him and to rule his creation (Gen. 1:26–31). In the fall, Adam and Eve rebel against God’s goals, bringing in the rule of sin and death (Gen. 3). In mercy, God promises a deliverer (Gen. 3:15) and later enters into a formal relationship (a covenant) with Abraham, promising him a land and a people, through whom God will bless all families of the earth (Gen. 12:1–3). At Sinai, God gives the Ten Commandments and establishes the descendants of Abraham, the people of Israel, as the people of God.
    God expands his promises to Abraham in a covenant with David, to whom God promises a dynasty and an eternal kingdom (2 Sam. 7:12–16). Isaiah foretells the coming of one who will be both God and man and will reign on David’s throne forever (Isa. 9:6–7). Finally, God promises a new covenant characterized by obedience to his word, widespread knowledge of God, forgiveness, and newness of life (Jer. 31:31–34). The Old Testament ends at the book of Malachi with God’s people continuing to turn away from him, but also with a promise of one who will come to prepare the way for the Messiah (Mal. 3:1).

    So, although the kingdom of God appears in the Old Testament, both in God’s universal rule as well as in his particular rule over Israel, it comes with newness and power in the New Testament. Jesus, the Messiah, inaugurates the kingdom in his coming, expands it in his exaltation, and will consummate it at his return.

    The Kingdom of God, Present
    In the New Testament, the promised Messiah comes as “Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). Through his incarnation, sinless life, crucifixion, and resurrection, Jesus fulfills the messianic promises, accomplishes the messianic mission, and brings redemption to a lost world.
    Jesus is the King whose words and deeds bring the spiritual kingdom of God. He proclaims the coming of the kingdom (Matt. 4:17; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:43), preaches the parables of the kingdom (Matt. 13:1–50), and declares the ethics and nature of the kingdom (Matt. 5–7). His deeds, especially his casting out demons by the Spirit, usher in the kingdom: “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matt. 12:28; cf. Luke 11:20). Christ’s mission always leads “up to Jerusalem” and his death and resurrection, where he brings salvation through his sacrifice.

    In his ascension, Jesus moves from the limited earthly sphere to the transcendent heavenly one. He sits at God’s right hand “in the heavens—far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion” (Eph. 1:20–21) now and forever. When Jesus pours out the Spirit on the church at Pentecost, God’s kingdom expands mightily as thousands come to Christ (Acts 2:41, 47; 4:4). Peter explains: “God exalted this man to his right hand as ruler and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). God rescues sinners “from the domain of darkness” and transfers them “into the kingdom of the Son he loves” (Col. 1:13–14).
    The “kingdom,” as God’s reign over his people, will finally and ultimately “come at the end of the age in a mighty irruption into history inaugurating the perfect order of the age to come.” And yet this kingdom “has already come into history in the person and mission of Jesus,” and thus the “presence of the future” is already evident (see George Eldon Ladd, The Presence of the Future, 144–49). So, God’s reign is present and future, already and not yet, his active invasion of history now and his final establishment of the age to come. It is a sovereign rule, a dynamic power, and a divine activity. As the bearer of this kingdom, Jesus requires repentance to enter his kingdom community, since the present way of the world must be rejected and the new age of God’s rule and its corresponding way of life embraced. As such, repentance is not only the way into the kingdom but also the way of the kingdom.

    The New Testament also proclaims that Jesus will return to reign as king, bringing justice, peace, delight, and victory. We live, then, in the tension between the “already” and the “not yet.” The kingdom was established with Israel, inaugurated with Christ in his coming, and achieved in the events of Christ’s death and resurrection. Even though the kingdom effects have begun, their full results await Christ’s return.

    The Kingdom of God, Future
    Although Jesus in his earthly ministry brings the kingdom, which expands exponentially at Pentecost, the fullness of the kingdom awaits until “the Son of Man comes in his glory” and sits “on his glorious throne” (Matt. 25:31). Then the angels will proclaim, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever” (Rev. 11:15). Jesus will judge the world, inviting believers to “inherit the kingdom” while consigning the lost to eternal punishment (Matt. 25:31–46). At “the end,” Jesus will hand “over the kingdom to God the Father” (1 Cor. 15:24).
    Thus the new heavens and new earth will be the final stage of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God will be at peace only in the end. Though Jesus’s victory has been won, the battle rages until his second coming (1 Pet. 5:8). God’s people conquer through Christ, who loves them and has given himself for them (Gal. 2:20). “The Lion from the tribe of Judah” who “has conquered” is the slain Lamb (Rev. 5:5–6). When the final installment of the kingdom arrives, the struggles of the present life will be past. By God’s grace, believers will reign with Christ. Human life will flourish, and human culture will thrive in the city of God (Heb. 2:5–10; Rev. 21:24–26). Jesus will return, deliver his people, and bring the final installment of his kingdom (Rev. 11:15).

    Heaven involves God’s people serving their great King as subjects of his kingdom now and forever: “They are before the throne of God, and they serve him day and night” (Rev. 7:15). The Evil One is a defeated foe who will one day be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). Through Christ, believers overcome death, so that at death they go to be with him (Phil. 1:23), and in the resurrection, death will be banished (1 Cor. 15:26; Rev. 21:4).

    Conclusion
    The kingdom of God is central to the biblical story of redemption. The story follows the narrative of the fall, the calling of the nation of Israel, and the coming of the promised Messiah, while prophesying his return one day in the culmination of all things, at which time he will set up the new Eden of God’s kingdom in the new heavens and new earth. In the meantime, we live in the already and not yet of the kingdom, serving our King and looking for his return.
    The Kingdom of God - The Gospel Coalition
     
  19. RandyPNW

    RandyPNW Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed the little cartoon! ;) And thanks for referencing books that indicate what you've read--apparently the Kingdom of God from a Reformed pov? I was raised and confirmed in Lutheranism, although as a budding adult I left that communion, thinking it too dry and even perhaps "dead." I've landed somewhere between general Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism--I attend a Pentecostal Church, though my own teaching conflicts with Pentecostal Theology.

    Very nice. I note you take subjects seriously, rather than emotionally, like so many on the forums. You seem like an honest, good Christian--sometimes hard to find! ;)

    I'll throw a few comments after portions of the article, to try to show you where I stand. I have unconventional views of the Kingdom, which often provoke hostility from other Christians--not because they're heretical views, but simply because they are not popular *today.* I derive my views always from others, and never exclusively from myself for my own ego. What God has to say today He's been saying for a vey long time to all!

    Yes, this is what I meant by the Kingdom of God not yet being geographically here, nor here time-wise, but only "near." The Kingdom of God drew near in the coming of Messiah, who then went into heaven to establish his Kingdom over his Church there, and not yet on the earth. We continue to suffer the world's sins here, and await a more complete redemption of the earth later, when Jesus returns from heaven.

    Yes, the concept of the Kingdom of God was inherent in God's anointing of King David to rule over Israel through the priesthood and through the Law of God. Israel was, in effect, God's temporal Kingdom on earth, though certainly not in a completed, eschatological state. Sin was temporarily dealt with by animal sacrifices, and the hope was established for a final deliverance of Israel from the effects of sin upon that nation.

    Jesus initially shows his powers of redemption during his earthly ministry, while still under the old covenant of Law. Full redemption for his people is only won at the cross. Driving out demons and illnesses show his capacity to defeat these things in a limited way now, whereas final deliverance from these things await the coming of the future Kingdom.

    In his ascension to heaven Jesus establishes the completion of his redemption work on behalf of the Church, though complete deliverance remains undone until his Kingdom comes to earth in the future. The ministry of the Church shows this limited power and preaches final deliverance, but it remains a hope until it is completed at Jesus' return.

    When I read this book, I wrote Ladd giving my thoughts and concerns. He seemed to be pursuing a new translation by the new (at that time) NIV NT Bible--at the time I only had access to the NT (mid 70s). The passage was now being translated not as "the Kingdom suffers violence" (traditional rendering), but "the Kingdom forcefully advances."

    I did a study at the time, and noted the limited power and work of the Gospel in the NT age, as compared with the coming Kingdom Age. Jesus showed he had unlimited divine power, and yet he did not use all of that power in the present age.

    He rules from heaven now in a limited way. He casts out demons, but he does not yet cast out Satan. He heals the sick, but he does not heal all the sick all the time. He delivers from the power of sin in our lives, and yet he does not remove and replace our "sinful flesh."

    So as much as I appreciate the sentiment in "the Kingdom advances forcefully," I think it is a wrong translation, and gives a defective idea of the future Kingdom already acting in the present. So I wouldn't call a book "The presence of the Future," but rather, God's limited power in the present, and the future power of the Kingdom.

    Unfortunately, the reply I got from Ladd when I wrote my letter to him informed me, sadly, that Ladd had just passed away. So I remain grateful to him for his influence on my life, and on my view of the Kingdom. I'll never know if he would agree with me on the above points, but his character was tremendous, inasmuch as he presented opposing positions very fairly.

    There's a lot here we could discuss, in particular my view of a limited Kingdom of God in the present, such as existed in Israel. I think limited forms of God's Kingdom also have existed in Christian States in NT history.

    This is the part that has been very controversial. Although I do think the Church suffers in the present age, I do believe that the limited power of Christ in heaven bestows on willing nations the right and ability to establish limited forms of God's Kingdom right here on the earth. Obviously, these are very imperfect representations of God's Kingdom, but when working properly, operate much better than liberal democracies and their religious pluralism.

    Christian States have lasted very long, eg the Byzantine Empire, even with its many flaws. But liberal democracies, though they seem to be working, have not had a long enough history to show their true colors. Just my opinion...

    Thanks for the conscientious and intelligent response! :)
    Randy
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2022
  20. Spiritual Jew

    Spiritual Jew Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I didn't say He has already handed the kingdom over to the Father. Is that what you thought I was saying?

    I truly have no idea of what you're trying to say here, but it seems like you're trying to draw attention away from the point I was making which was in relation to the timing of Jesus delivering the kingdom to the Father. Do you agree that the end of the age arrives when Jesus returns? It seems like you do. So, why did Jesus indicate that the righteous will shine like the sun in "the kingdom of their Father" at that point if the kingdom will not be delivered to the Father at the end of the age when Jesus returns? Somehow, you believe that He will deliver the kingdom to the Father 1000+ years after His return even though scripture teaches He will do so when He returns at the end of the age.

    There are two groups. One group, figuratively referred to as the sheep, receives eternal life in the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. Do you not think you will be part of that group? To me, that is clearly a reference to God's people from all-time. Won't we all receive eternal life in the kingdom prepared for us from the foundation of the world?

    The other group are the goats and they are cast into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels, which I believe is clearly a parallel to Revelation 20:15.

    So, who are the ones not represented in that passage? No one as far as I can tell. Those who are saved from all-time, whose names are written in the book of life, will receive eternal life in the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world and those whose names are not written in the book of life will be cast into the lake of fire. Why would there need to be more than one judgment event to judge all people? Scripture says that God has appointed a single day to judge the world (Acts 17:30) and Matthew 25:31-46 portrays that day of judgment.

    You know how I interpret the passage, so why would you say this? You think I'm going to change my mind on how I interpret the passage? No. I never will. Of course that can apply to Cain. You do understand that Jesus is God and has always existed, right? Not as a man, but as God. So, there's no reason why what He said can't apply even to Cain.

    Why would I admit to something I don't believe? Nice try. You need to come up with something more convincing than this for me to reconsider how I interpret that passage. You need to explain why God would want to have multiple judgment days instead of one. Do you have any explanation for that at all? And why do verses like the following refer to only one judgment day instead of the multiple judgment days you believe in?

    Acts 17:30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2022
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