Thy Kingdom Come
By Monte Dearth
Weekly Study Archives
Ask 10 different people when Christs kingdom is to be established and you may get 10 different answers depending on which man/woman they happened to here it from. But we are not going to look at mans definition of when the kingdom will begin, but Gods definition.
Jesus in the sermon on the mount prayed for the Father to bring about His kingdom. "Pray, then, in this way: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9-10 NASB). But we know from reading the book of Colossians that immersed believers have already been transferred into His kingdom. "For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14 NASB). So the kingdom showed up sometime between Christs prayer and the writing of Colossians by Paul (that is if we are going to believe the Bible). So when did the kingdom begin?
Christ said in one of His speeches that "immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30 NASB). And he also said in one other place that "Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power." (Mark 9:1 NASB). So what was He talking about in these two instances?
A lot of people will attribute Matthew 24 as talking about His second coming. But that is not what Jesus is talking about here. We know that Jesus ascended into Heaven in the first part of the book of Acts. "And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; and they also said, Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." (Acts 1:9-11 NASB). But what happened when he made it to the other side? Well, in order to find this answer, we need to dive back into one of the Old Testament prophets Daniel.
"I kept looking in the night visions,
And behold, with the clouds of heaven
One like a Son of Man was coming,
And He came up to the Ancient of Days
And was presented before Him.
And to Him was given dominion,
Glory and a kingdom,
That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language
Might serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion
Which will not pass away;
And His kingdom is one
Which will not be destroyed." (Daniel 7:13-14 NASB).
So when Christ was speaking in Matthew 24 about Daniel 7:13, His coming was speaking of His ascension into Heaven rather than His return to earth. And Daniel 7 tells us that during His ascension was the time when He was given His everlasting kingdom. This is reiterated in Daniel 2:44 where it says: "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever." (NASB)
But what did Jesus mean by the statement in Mark 1:9 about the kingdom coming with power? Lets take a look at the book of Acts. Acts 1:6-8 says "And so when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel? He said to them, It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (NASB) And when did the Holy Spirit come upon the apostles? "And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance." (Acts 2:1-4 NASB). It was just like Christ had said, they would be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now in Acts 1:5. It was 10 days after His ascension that all of this took place.
So as God has defined it, Christs kingdom (or the church) began on the day the Jesus ascended into Heaven. The writer of Hebrews called it the consummation of the ages the day Christ took His seat on the throne of His father David. And as God has defined it, the kingdom came with great power on the day of Pentecost 30 AD with the coming of the Holy Spirit the same day the first gospel message was preached and 3,000 believers were immersed into Christ.