Online Bible and Study Tools
Translate || Vine / Schaff || Alts/Vars/Criticism/Aramaic

 
 


End Times Chart


Introduction and Key

BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)



Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 


Modern Preterism
Modern Preterism Study Archive
Study Archive

Click For Site Updates Page

Free Online Books Page

Historical Preterism Main

Modern Preterism Main

Hyper Preterism Main

Preterist Idealism Main

Critical Article Archive Main

Church History's Preteristic Presupposition

Study Archive Main

Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main

Josephus' Wars of the Jews Main

Online Study Bible Main

MODERN PRETERISTS
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

Firmin Abauzit
Jay Adams
Luis Alcazar
Greg Bahnsen
Beausobre, L'Enfant
Jacques Bousset
John L. Bray
David Brewster
Dr. John Brown
Thomas Brown
Newcombe Cappe
David Chilton
Adam Clarke

Henry Cowles
Ephraim Currier
R.W. Dale
Gary DeMar
P.S. Desprez
Johann Eichhorn
Heneage Elsley
F.W. Farrar
Samuel Frost
Kenneth Gentry
Steve Gregg
Hugo Grotius
Francis X. Gumerlock
Henry Hammond
Hampden-Cook
Friedrich Hartwig
Adolph Hausrath
Thomas Hayne
J.G. Herder
Timothy Kenrick
J. Marcellus Kik
Samuel Lee
Peter Leithart
John Lightfoot
Benjamin Marshall
F.D. Maurice
Marion Morris
Ovid Need, Jr
Wm. Newcombe
N.A. Nisbett
Gary North
Randall Otto
Zachary Pearce
Andrew Perriman
Beilby Porteus
Ernst Renan
Gregory Sharpe
Fr. Spadafora
R.C. Sproul
Moses Stuart
Milton S. Terry
Herbert Thorndike
C. Vanderwaal
Foy Wallace
Israel P. Warren
Chas Wellbeloved
J.J. Wetstein
Richard Weymouth
Daniel Whitby
George Wilkins
E.P. Woodward
 

The Spiritual Nature of the Kingdom

By Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr

From "House Divided : The Breakup of Dispensational Theology"

False Prophecies for Fun and Prophet | The "Transitional Verses" in Matthew 24 | Recent Developments in the Eschatological Debate | As Lightening Cometh From the East | The Spiritual Nature of the Kingdom | Apocalypse Then | Book Review: Revelation: Four Views | A Brief Theological Analysis of Full Preterism

Despite House and Ice’s confusion, the Scripture is quite clear regarding the spiritual nature of the kingdom. It is a distinctive of dispensationalism that asserts Christ offered to Israel a literal, political, earthly kingdom, but that the Jews rejected it, thus causing its postponement. This view of the kingdom is totally erroneous.

As a matter of fact, it was just that sort of kingdom that the first-century Jews wanted and that Christ refused: "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone" (John 6:15).

The disciples themselves missed His point for the most part, while He was on earth. This is evidenced in the Emmaus Road en-counter after the crucifixion, where these disciples lament: "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done" (Luke 24:21). We should note that Jesus rebuked them for such foolishness: "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself" (Luke 24:25-27). They expected political deliverance and glory to come to Israel through this Messiah.c But Jesus spoke to them of the true meaning of the prophecies of the Old Testament, showing them that He must suffer and then enter His resurrected, heavenly glory.

In response to the Pharisees, Christ specifically declared that the kingdom does not come visibly and gloriously (as the dispensational construction would have it!): "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, Lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:20-21). Obviously a spiritual conception of the kingdom is here demanded, in contradiction to an Armageddon-introduced, earthly, political kingdom.

This is why Christ went about preaching what is termed the "gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 4:23; 9:35; 24:14; Mark 1:14-15). He proclaimed a redemptive, spiritual kingdom. Hence His being exalted to His throne leads to a spiritual effusion of grace, not the political establishment of an earthly government (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 2:30-35; 3:22-26; 8:12; Eph. 4:8-11).

A major accusation against Jesus was that He promoted a political kingdom in competition with Caesar’s empire. This explains why Jesus was concerned to discover the source of the accusation – He knew of the misconception of the Jews in this regard. His answer indicates that His is a spiritual kingdom:

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice (John 18:33-37).

Had He not presented His kingship in terms of meekness and lowliness and not of a conquering, political entity? "All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass" (Matt. 21:4-5). In illustration of the Emmaus Road confusion, John adds regarding this triumphal entry in fulfillment of prophecy that "these things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him" (John 12:15-16).

Paul picks upon and promotes the spiritual nature of the kingdom, when he writes that "the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 14:17). He disavows any carnal conception of the kingdom. Likewise does he speak of attaining an inheritance in the spiritual kingdom (the heavenly aspect of the kingdom) for those who are righteous (1 Cor. 6:9-10; 15:50; Gal. 5:21). He even says very plainly of the heavenly aspect of the kingdom: "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither cloth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Cor. 15:50). How could it be that an earthly, political kingdom would hold forth no inheritance for flesh and blood people? It is in salvation that we are "delivered from the power of darkness, and translated into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins" (Col. 1:12-13).

 

1. Ibid., pp. 173, 279. Cp. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology (Grand Rapids, MI: Academie/Zondervan, [1956] 1964), pp. 456-66.

2. In another connection House and Ice admit this problem with the disciples: "But as was almost always the case, they were wrong" (House and Ice, Dominion Theology, p. 271).

3. Cp. their hope that He would "redeem Israel" with the Old Testament declaration that God "redeemed" Israel by delivering them from Egypt to become an independent nation (Deut. 7:8; 9:26; 13:5; 15:15; 24:18; 1 Chron. 17:21; Mic. 6:4).

4. Surely it cannot be denied that at the resurrection and ascension Christ "entered His glory; which was evidenced by Pentecost (John 7:39; 12:16; 12:23; Acts 3:13). He is now the Lord of glory (cf. James 2:1; 1 Peter l:ll; 2 Peter 3:18; Heb. 2:9).

 

What do YOU think ?

Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
Comment Box Disabled For Security


Date: 08 Oct 2012
Time: 10:54:32

Your Comments:

I agree with you that the nature of the Kingdom of Christ is spiritual and that he reigns now and that it is till his coming.


Click For Index Page

Free Online Books Historical Preterism Modern Preterism Study Archive Critical Articles Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main Josephus Church History Hyper Preterism Main

Email PreteristArchive.com's Sole Developer and Curator, Todd Dennis  (todd @ preteristarchive.com) Opened in 1996
http://www.preteristarchive.com