Was the Kingdom of God Postponed? #5
Be sure to read the previous installments of this fine article by our friend Jim Gunter. This is an important issue! Here are the links to the previous articles #1 #2” href=”http://donkpreston.com/was-the-kingdom-of-god-postponed-guest-article-by-jim-gunter-2/” target=”_blank”>#2 #3” href=”http://donkpreston.com/was-the-kingdom-of-god-postponed-guest-article-by-jim-gunter-3/” target=”_blank”>#3 #4” href=”http://donkpreston.com/was-the-kingdom-of-god-postponed-guest-article-by-jim-gunter-4/” target=”_blank”>#4
At this point, I believe is the time for a final, yet most urgent message concerning the notion that God gave in to the unbelieving Jews and put off the establishment of the Kingdom of his Son. So, if you would be so kind, I would like for you to examine with me, very closely, a parable that speaks to both, Christ receiving His Kingdom, and His second-coming, as King, in His Kingdom. And good folks, as we look at this parable, please pay very close attention to how The Master really handled this matter of those Jews who rejected Him. And see if you think He capitulated and withdrew, and allowed them to have their way!
In Luke. 19:11-27, Jesus responds to the idea some of the 1st century Jews had that the kingdom of God was going to immediately appear. As He was wont to do, our Master responded to them by way of a parable. The parable was of Him, as the “nobleman“ who went into a far country to receive His Kingdom, and to then return, which, of course, was the fulfillment of Dan. 7:13-14, where Jesus is pictured coming with the clouds, before the Ancient of Days, to receive His Kingdom.
In this parable, when the nobleman (Jesus) departed, he called his slaves (His servants) to Him, and gave to them the responsibilities of doing His business until He returned. However, we find that those servants whom He left to do His business, were anything but well-received or respected by the citizenry (the unbelieving Jews). These wicked citizens (1st century unbelieving Jews-jg), according to vs. 14, literally hated the nobleman (Jesus), sending a delegation saying, “We do not want this man to reign over us.”
Friends, I don’t believe that there is any serious student of the Word, who would disagree with the things that we have established in this parable up to this point. I say that because I believe the facts simply speak for themselves. The parable is self-explanatory. But, what I would stress that we need to clearly understand here, is the fact that nowhere in this parable, does it ever say, imply, or even give the slightest hint to, the notion that the Kingdom was put on hold because of these unbelieving Jews’ rejection of The Christ as King. O no! Please notice here that even though the unbelieving Jews did literally hate our Lord, rejected Him, and clearly declared that they did not want Him to reign over them (vs.14), it still did not, in any way whatsoever, deter or thwart God’s plans regarding the coming of The Kingdom of God!
These are not just words of speculation. And, I don’t want you to just simply take my word for this, but I would implore you to read this account again for yourselves. And as you read the rest of this parable, you will notice that in the very next verse (vs.15) Jesus states that the nobleman (Jesus), in fact did receive the Kingdom “and returned.” Do you see that? Good folks, this is very important! And, notice that upon His return, there was the Judgment of these wicked citizens—not a capitulation to them! Now if you will, please look at vs. 27. Now read it and just see if you get any sense whatsoever that God put the Kingdom on hold because of the rejection of His Son by these unbelieving Jews. It’s unmistakably clear that there is none, but to the contrary, Jesus said, “But of these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.” Yes, it just seems so clear to me from vss. 14 and 27, that Yahweh in fact carried out His promise regarding His Son’s Kingdom, and He destroyed those whose desire it was to preclude it from coming to fruition! And beloved, I sincerely believe that it did come to a condition of full perfection and maturity in 70 A.D. when the wicked unbelieving Jews, their city, and their nation were destroyed.
Those mentioned as the “little flock,” to whom that Kingdom was given, would be those of whom Paul speaks in Rom. 2:28-29; 9:6-8 as “true Jews” and “true Israelites,” not those who were simply the “fleshly descendants” of Jacob or Abraham, but rather those Israelites who were of “the faith” of Abraham; those who sought salvation by grace through faith as opposed to works of law. Folks, doesn’t this, again, evidence the fact that God’s coming Kingdom was going to be “spiritual” in nature and not “physical?“ And isn’t it also a beautiful thing how that God saw fit in His “mystery,” that you and I, as Gentiles, would also be grafted into the same good olive tree, and made to be fellow-heirs and fellow-citizens of that same Kingdom, and made to share in their (Israel’s) promises (Eph. 3:3-6)?
The Kingdom of God Is Within You!
I would like to end this little essay with a response of Jesus to the Pharisees who asked Him just when the Kingdom was coming. Jesus’ response was very simple. He said in Luke. 17:20-21:
“The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, Look, here it is! or There it is! For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Dear ones, I ask you again, could language be any more transparent? And wouldn’t you agree with me that such language demands that the Kingdom of our Lord is spiritual” in nature, and not “physical?”
The Kingdom of God: Was It Replaced?
Before closing this little essay, I would like to take just a moment and make a simple plea to any disciple who subscribes to this concept of “replacement theology.” Because they are folks we love, I would just like to offer a thought or two for their consideration and then let them judge for themselves if that view is consistent with our Father’s word.
Please let us just suppose for the moment that this concept is true. Can you just imagine the magnitude of the devastation this does to the omnipotence and integrity of our Heavenly Father? Why, this would mean that the unbelieving 1st century Jews were more powerful than our God is! It would also mean that our Father cannot really be depended upon to bring to pass what He has promised, would it not? For example, if it were true that because of the unbelief on the part of most of the 1st century Jews, our Father “failed” to keep His promise to establish the Kingdom of God at that time, how can we possibly have any confidence that He would not fail a second attempt at some later point in time? Good folks, personally, I just cannot bring myself to believe that there is anything He has promised that He is unable to bring to pass!
I would simply like to say that I am completely confident that our Father indeed did establish His Kingdom, and did so in the 1st century, in spite of the rejection of His Son on the part of the majority of the Jews of that day. For example, listen to these words of Jesus and you will see that He promises that He would come in His kingdom during the lifetime of some of those He addressed. He said in Mat. 16:27-28:
“For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
And finally, would you also please read Col. 1:13; Heb. 12:18-28; Mk. 8:38-9-1; Rev. 1:9, and just see if you don’t also conclude that The Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is here, presently, and that every person of any nation on earth who is a Christian, is in covenant relationship with God through His Son, and is in that Kingdom! May the Lord richly bless you with His grace, and give you all kinds of peace in your believing!
Be sure to get a copy of Don K. Preston’s Seal Up Vision and Prophecy, for a wonderful study of the question of the postponed kingdom of God. The material found in this book is a definitive, total refutation of the claim that the kingdom of God was postponed.
Yours in Him,