A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken
The Holy Spirit said in Hebrews 12:28 that we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Daniel foretold this kingdom in Daniel 2:44. He said this kingdom would stand forever. In this second chapter, Daniel said there would be four world-wide kingdoms.
History reveals that there were four world-wide kingdoms before John the Baptist came preaching that the kingdom was at hand (Matthew 3:2). John was beheaded and Jesus took up his ministry and he preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand (Matthew 4:17). He told us, Mark 9:1, how close the kingdom was, for there were those that would not taste death until they saw the Kingdom come in POWER.
Then the Holy Spirit told us the power would come in Jerusalem, upon the apostles, before they left the city to preach of the resurrected Christ: "And behold, I send forth the promise of the Father upon you, but tarry ye in the city, until ye be clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:48). Before Jesus left this earth He explained to the apostles when the power would come: "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). So we have learned that the Lord would set up a kingdom that would last forever. John said that kingdom was at hand. Jesus said that kingdom would come in the lifetime of those people who were there with him at that time. He said that the kingdom would come with POWER. That the Power would come in Jerusalem and then we learned that the apostles would receive POWER when the Holy Spirit came.
Before Jesus left this earth he said that he had all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18). The Holy Spirit said that Jesus had POWER when he arose from the dead: "who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 1:4). Then on the day of Pentecost, Peter ended up the first part of his sermon with this statement: "Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified." So if we can prove anything by the Bible, we know that the kingdom of Christ was ushered in on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
People often ask why we do not pray the Lord's Prayer. Jesus never prayed what we call the Lord's Prayer. He gave it as a model for the apostles to pray. He said: AFTER THIS MANNER THEREFORE PRAY YE (Matthew 6:9). They were told to seek FIRST the KINGDOM and his righteousness (Matt. 6:33). Did they seek in vain? No, we have shown you that the kingdom began on the day of Pentecost. We do not pray for something that the Lord has already given us. SO NOW WE THANK GOD THAT WE CAN RECEIVE THE KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN. To pray "THY KINGDOM COME" IS A MOCKERY.
The kingdom came and after the day of Pentecost it is always spoken of as something that was already in existence. Paul told the new converts that through many tribulations they must enter into the kingdom of God (Acts 14:23). In the next verse it says that they appointed elders in EVERY CHURCH (Acts 14:23). Despite the teaching of men to the contrary, the church and the kingdom are one and the same thing. Of necessity this has to be. THERE IS ONE BODY (Eph. 1:4). The body is the church (Eph. 1:22,23). Jesus Christ, himself, made the church and the kingdom ONE. I quote: "And I also say unto thee that thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Let us read next from Colossians 1:13: "who delivered us out of the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love." Then in the 18th verse of the same chapter he says: "and he is the head of the body the church: who is the beginning the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence." If Jesus has the pre-eminence in ALL THINGS, he must be reigning NOW or he does not have the PRE-EMINENCE.
There are many who teach that Jesus did intend to set up his kingdom but when the Jews rejected him he set up the church instead. There is not a semblance of proof for this theory. As we have shown, the Scriptures time after time speak of the kingdom as an established fact. Someone says that Jesus will set up his kingdom on this earth. How can Jesus set up an earthly kingdom when he said in John 18:36: "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 unto the Jews; but my kingdom is not from hence?" So this theory that Jesus some time in the future, would set up an earthly kingdom flies right into the face of the statement made by the Lord Jesus Christ.
We shall go farther. People knew that Jesus had taught that the kingdom was at hand when he first began his ministry. They knew that John the Baptist had taught that the kingdom was at hand. So they approached Jesus and asked when the kingdom was going to come (Luke 17:20). JESUS SAID THAT THE KINGDOM WOULD NOT COME BY OBSERVATION. I want to dwell on this. Those who teach that Jesus will yet set up a kingdom on this earth are going to have it come by observation but THE KINGDOM OF GOD is within you (Luke 17:21).
People say we are now living in the church age. When Christ comes we shall then be in the kingdom age. The Bible never talks about a church age or a kingdom age. It does say that the church was the eternal purpose of God (Eph. 3:10-11). So then the church was not an afterthought as some vainly teach. There is to be NO AGE after the church. We read: "unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever." So the church is going to last eternally according to Ephesians 3:21. I would like here to inject the statement that Paul made in Acts 27:25: "I believe God that it shall be even as he hath spoken unto me." Peruse carefully all we have studied and I can say very confidently that I BELIEVE GOD THAT IT SHALL BE EVEN AS HE HATH SPOKEN UNTO ME.
We hear a great deal of talk about a born-again Christian. If you are a Christian you are born- again. Let us look at the fact of being born again. Where are those who are born-again? Jesus said that: "Except ye be born anew ye cannot see the kingdom of God." What is the conclusion of that statement? Those who are born anew see the kingdom of God. If the kingdom does not exist how can one be born anew? Jesus further said, when Nicodemus questioned him about the new birth that: "Except one be born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). So if there it not a kingdom, of necessity there is no new birth. False teaching gets people into queer predicaments.
By our study of the word of God we have learned that there is one body. That body may be referred to as a church or a kingdom. More proof is not needed but we shall speak now from the Book of Hebrews: "But of the Son he saith, thy throne is forever and ever; and the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom." The Holy Spirit says THY THRONE IS. He did not say it had been nor did he say it would be. He says it is FOREVER AND EVER. We turn now to the 12th chapter, verse 23, of Hebrews. "To the general assembly and church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven." The church is enrolled in heaven. However in the 28th verse of the same chapter he calls this church of the first born A KINGDOM THAT CANNOT BE SHAKEN.
THERE IS NO SCRIPTURE THAT SAYS JESUS WILL EVER SET FOOT ON THE EARTH AGAIN. I read this about the return of our Lord: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (I Thess. 4:16, 17). Ponder the statement. We shall be caught up in the air to meet the Lord and so we shall be forever with the Lord. No room for a reign with Christ on earth.
Those that teach that the kingdom is still future say that the righteous will be raised and a thousand years later the wicked will be raised. This is contrary to the teaching of our Lord for He said that THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED WOULD BE RAISED IN ONE HOUR (John 5:28, 29). There cannot be a thousand years inside of one hour. Then to add to that, Jesus said four times in the 6th chapter of John that the righteous would be raised at the last day, verses 39, 40, 44, 54. You cannot have time after the LAST DAY. After the last day we shall have eternity and there will not be a thousand year reign of Christ after the last day.
The ascension of Jesus is told in this language: "And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9). Daniel tells us what happened on the other side of that cloud: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto the son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom which shall not be destroyed" (Daniel 7:13, 14).
John received a message for the seven churches in Asia and the Lord assured him: "and he made us to be a kingdom, to be priests unto his God and Father, to him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever" (Rev. 1:6).
TRUTH NEVER CONTRADICTS TRUTH. Revelation 20 does not teach anything contrary to the truth we have learned. That would be impossible.
J.C. Bailey (1987, Bengough, Saskatchewan)
Published in The Old Paths Archive