Was the Kingdom of God Postponed?
One of the reasons why our Dispensational friends insist that the kingdom of God was postponed is because of their concept of the nature of the kingdom that Christ came to establish. It is insisted that Jesus came to restore the nationalistic, earthly kingdom. However, in this installment of Jim Gunter’s series, he shares with us that this was– and is– a mistaken concept. Jesus did not come, and is not coming, to establish and earthly, nationalistic kingdom of God. Be sure to get a copy of the McDurmon -V- Preston debate, in which Joel McDurmon of American Vision, argued that Jesus is coming back to establish and earthly, physical kingdom.
Just listen to what our Master said to them (1st century Jews) in Jhn. 18:36 as to the “nature” of His Kingdom. He said: “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, then my servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews, but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”
Folks, do you see what I’m getting at here? Just like these Jews of old, so are many disciples even today; they are still waiting for Jesus to come back to earth and set up the kingdom of God in Jerusalem as though He is interested in an earthly, physical kingdom. However, do you see that such an idea flies right into the face of our Father’s Word? O dear Lord, please help us to see your great and marvelous “spiritual” lessons in the words of your dear Son! Good folks if our Master clearly declared that His kingdom was not “of this realm” (physical or natural realm), wouldn’t that of necessity mean, that it is of the “spiritual realm?”
Jesus and the Kingdom of God
Please let us consider Nicodemus for a moment; a man who was a Pharisee and a teacher of the people. Let us not forget that he was already a citizen of the earthly, fleshly kingdom of Judah. But didn’t Jesus let him know, unequivocally, that his physical or fleshly pedigree was not sufficient for him and his fellow Jews to gain entrance into The Kingdom of God? Did He not tell him plainly that he had to be “born again?” And didn’t Jesus make it clear that it was not his “flesh” that had to be born again, but rather his “spirit?” You may recall that Jesus told him: “…that which is born of the flesh is flesh; but that which is born of The Spirit (Holy Spirit-jg) is spirit.” Yes, Jesus says he had to be “born of water and The Spirit.” Please read Jn. 3:3-6. Now, if Nicodemus stood in need of a “spiritual” re-birth, i.e., a re-birth by the Holy Spirit and not a “fleshly” re-birth, in order for him to enter the Kingdom of God, wouldn’t we be compelled to reason that The Kingdom of God would have to be a “spiritual” kingdom? Good folks, this is why I am fully persuaded that the kingdom of God was not to be “physical” but rather “spiritual.” Does that make sense? Please notice what Paul told the saints in the province of Galatia: “Are you so foolish? Having begun by The Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh” (Gal.3:3).
To the disciples at Colossae, Paul described the process of entrance into Christ’s kingdom as “a translation.” He also uses a past tense verb indicating that these disciples had already undergone that translation because these words of Paul were written after the inauguration of Christ’s kingdom which took place at Pentecost. He said In Col. 1:13: “Who has delivered (past tense) us from the power of darkness, and has translated (past tense) us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
Before the coming of the Kingdom of God, Jesus dealt harshly with the unbelieving Jews even though they were of “His own,” and even referring to them as “sons of the kingdom.” In Mat. 8:11-12 He declared: “And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Notice now how He also blistered the chief priests and elders of the Jews in Mat. 21:43, with regard to this matter of a fleshly, national kingdom vs. The Kingdom of God. He said:
“Therefore, I say to you (1st century fleshly, national Israel), the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and given to a nation producing the fruit of it.”
Did you catch that, folks? Jesus is so very clear here in speaking to those 1st century Jews. Now listen to what He told His little band of Jewish disciples (the righteous remnant who believed in Him) in Lk. 12:32: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”
O what a beautiful promise to these godly 1st century Jews! Do you see the connection between these two passages? In the Mat. 21:43 passage Jesus said that His Father was going to take the Kingdom from the unbelieving, or apostate Jews (those who rejected Christ esp. their religious leaders), and then turn right around and give it to “the little flock“ (those Jews who did accept Christ i.e., the remnant). However, as we can see, there is not one single word in these passages about postponing the kingdom, but just the opposite. It was to be stripped away from the apostate unbelieving Jews and gladly given over to the believers! And this would all culminate in the new “spiritual Israel,” when Jesus would establish a new covenant for the coming Kingdom of God, bringing together the remnants from both the house of Judah and the house of Israel, along with the Gentiles (See Ezek. 37:16-25; Hos. 1:9-11; Heb. 8:10-13; Rom. 2:27-28; 9:6-8; 11:25-28).
In the next installment, we will continue to look closely at the nature of the kingdom of God. You do not want to miss this! In the meantime, don’t forget to get a copy of Don K. Preston’s book, Seal Up Vision and Prophecy, for a really powerful study of the question of the postponement of the kingdom of God. You will not find this material anywhere else, and it completely destroys the idea that the Jews could thwart God’s kingdom plan.