The Future Phase of the Kingdom (Consummation): Chapter 7

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The future phase (indicated as P.3) is the kingdom prophetically announced and described, as seen prospectively in actual power and glory established on the earth, when Christ, as the King of kings, shall literally reign with His saints over the earth during the millennium.
In the present stage of the kingdom, when viewed in its true and divine character, it is the spiritual rule of Christ in the hearts of His saints that stands out as the most prominent thought, but in the future phase, while the saints of that dispensation will be morally and spiritually under His guidance and rule, they will also be under the literal and visible reign of the Lord on the earth, who shall then be King over all.
But as many maintain that the reign of Christ always means His spiritual reign in the hearts of believers, and nothing else, and that He will never come to this earth to reign personally over it, I will now quote a few passages, out of a large number that might be cited, to show how unscriptural such a thought is.
“Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion” (Psa. 2:66Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (Psalm 2:6)).
Clearly “mount Zion,” the “holy hill of Zion” and “Jerusalem” are not the hearts of saints, nor are they the Church, as so often erroneously assumed. Never is the Church called Zion in Scripture, for it always refers either to the literal mount Zion of Jerusalem, or to God’s earthly people, the Israelites.
Once it is used in Hebrews 12:2222But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, (Hebrews 12:22), but even there it is not applied to the Church, as shown by the fact that in verse 23 - which is a continuation of the sentence - we have the words, “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn,” from which it may be fairly inferred that the words “assembly and church” would not be thus repeated if Zion, used in the first part of the sentence, meant the Church.
“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:3232He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: (Luke 1:32)).
Surely “the throne of His father David” could not possibly mean the hearts of His saints, or the Church even in figure. Moreover, it would be equally unmeaning to say that this throne of His father David is the Lord’s throne in heaven.
These words must therefore refer to the literal throne which shall be given to Him when He comes to reign over the twelve tribes of Israel on the earth after they are restored to their own land.
Nothing could be plainer than the literalness of this, and as if to guard the words “mount of Olives” from being spiritualized, it is added, “which is before Jerusalem on the east,” where this well-known mountain is situated.
It only shows to what an amazing extent the spiritualizing of Scripture has been most unjustifiably carried, when in the face of such plainly literal and explicit words as these, and many others that could be mentioned, there are some who still maintain that the Lord will not come personally to reign over the earth!
The Scriptures throughout abound with references to this glorious reign of the Lord in the millennium, which will be the future phase and consummation of the kingdom, while the most glowing and sublime language is used in setting it forth.
In the covenant which God made with Abraham the promise was specially given to him and his seed that they should possess the land of Canaan “from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates,” and enjoy a blessed time of rest and peace under the righteous sway of the promised Messiah, who was to come in due time as their King to reign over them.
And as it was foreordained in the counsels of God that Christ should be born of the seed of Abraham, it was but fitting that the Israelites should have the special privilege held out to them of being reigned over in the coming kingdom by a son of the seed of Abraham and of David, of whom David was particularly the type in his kingly character. Therefore this promised kingdom has ever been the undying hope of the children of Israel - given to them expressly by Jehovah Himself -that has cheered and animated them in all their wanderings and afflictions, and to which the faithful among them are still earnestly looking forward, especially now in these last days.
The prophets of old, under divine inspiration, seemed to be illumined prospectively by the radiance of that bright and yet future day when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings (Mal. 4:22But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2)).
The great King and His glorious kingdom was ever one of the heart-stirring themes that inspired the sweet singer of Israel and other psalmists, as we see in many of their beautiful and divine songs. Such, for instance, in Psalm 45: “My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the King: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into Thy lips: therefore God has blessed Thee for ever. Gird Thy sword upon Thy thigh, O most Mighty, with Thy glory and Thy majesty. And in Thy majesty ride prosperously, because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and Thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.” This is the lofty strain that runs through all this grand and expressive psalm of the kingdom.
In the Transfiguration on the Mount - recorded in Matthew 17, Mark 9 and Luke 9 - our Lord was pleased to give to three of His disciples, Peter, James and John, a very remarkable representation of the millennial kingdom, six days after He had told them they should not taste death, till they had seen the Kingdom of God come with power (Mark), or, as given in Matthew, “the Son of man coming in His kingdom.”
And then they behold the Lord in all His kingly glory “transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light,” while Moses and Elias appeared with Him in the glory talking with Him. And as the disciples wondered and feared, Peter exclaimed, “Master, it is good for us to be here.”
In all this we have a wonderful picture of millennial scenes. The King in all His majesty is there in the midst, while Moses and Elias present with the Lord aptly represent the two classes of saints of the First Resurrection. Moses represents the saints that have died, as he died, and Elias the saints who shall not die, but be changed, as he was, and caught up together with the dead who rise first, as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 1716For 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: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16‑17). The three disciples, moreover, may be taken to represent the people on the earth in the millennium, who shall be delighted with the visitations and presence of their heavenly visitors, coming down from the new and holy Jerusalem above, when they with the Lord shall be reigning over the earth.
That this scene was intended to represent the King coming in His glory to establish His future kingdom on the earth is conclusively shown by Peter’s reference to it in his second epistle: “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to Him from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:16, 1716For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (2 Peter 1:16‑17)).
It will be found that there are more allusions in Scripture to this future phase of the kingdom than to any other branch of the subject, but as it is not our purpose to deal with the whole of these - which alone would fill a small volume - we shall, as before, confine ourselves to those direct passages that contain the words “kingdom” or “the Kingdom of God,” and even of these we shall only be able to select some of the leading and most striking ones.
Of the passages in which the word “kingdom” alone is used, all (with one or two exceptions) relate to the millennial phase of the kingdom (see the List), as the Church or Christendom phrase was never the subject of prophecy, for obvious reasons.
The following may be taken as typical examples of these direct references to the coming kingdom.
“They shall speak of the glory of Thy kingdom, and talk of Thy power; to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations” (Psa. 145:11-1311They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; 12To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. 13Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations. (Psalm 145:11‑13)).
“Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever” (Isa. 9:77Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:7)).
“In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:4444And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. (Daniel 2:44)).
“And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. ... Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. ... And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him” (Dan. 7:14-2714And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. 15I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:14‑27)).
In the New Testament also, in those passages containing the word “kingdom” alone, it will be found that, with few exceptions, they refer, like the Old Testament references, to the future phase of the kingdom.
For example, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:3434Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34)).
“Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:1010Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. (Mark 11:10)).
“Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?” (James 2:55Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:5)).
Similar to these, a large number of passages will be found throughout the New Testament that refer exclusively to the future or millennial phase of the kingdom in connection with the words “the Kingdom of God,” “the Kingdom of heaven,” “the Kingdom of the Son” or “the Father’s Kingdom.”
A few of the most distinctive of these may be quoted as follows:
“The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity” (Matt. 13:4141The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Matthew 13:41)).
“And He said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto Him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on Thy right hand, and the other on the left, in Thy kingdom” (Matt. 20:2121And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom. (Matthew 20:21)).
“And it came to pass, that when he [the nobleman] was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading” (Luke 19:1515And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. (Luke 19:15)).
“And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me; that ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22:29, 3029And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Luke 22:29‑30)).
“Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer” (2 Thess. 1:55Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: (2 Thessalonians 1:5)).
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:2121To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Revelation 3:21)).
“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years” (Rev. 20:44And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)).
In thus briefly tracing out the several aspects, constitutional principles and phases of the Kingdom of God, we are introduced to one of the most sublime subjects that could ever occupy the attention of either men or angels, compared with which all that relates to the kingdoms of this world sink into utter insignificance. Empires and kingdoms of this world, great and many, that stood high in the estimation of men, have through successive ages passed away into complete oblivion, but the glorious Kingdom of God, of which Christ will be its exalted and righteous King, shall abide forever, for His kingdom will not only be superlatively grand and blessed above all others, but will also be an everlasting kingdom. Yet alas! comparatively few appear to have their eyes opened to see and realize the greatness and glory of this coming kingdom of Christ.
For man, being for the most part blinded by the false glitter of earthly greatness and the evanescent pomp and show of worldly things, finds little or no interest in the wonderful revelations that God has been pleased so graciously and condescendingly to give us concerning the transcendent Kingdom of His well-beloved Son that is now drawing near to its consummation. The fleeting things of time and sense, and the ever-changing affairs of these earthly kingdoms, wholly absorb the time and attention of the vast majority of mankind, although they are continually reminded by passing events that all these things, and, indeed, everything that pertains to the pride and glory of man, are but as the flower of the field, that flourishes for a moment and is gone. “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more” (Psa. 103:15, 1615As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. (Psalm 103:15‑16)).
It is only when we ascend the Mount of God, in company with the prophets of old, and look down from thence on this little world, as we hear the voice of Jehovah speaking to them, that we can in some measure realize the littleness of all these earthly things. Let us listen for a moment to what the Omnipotent God had to say to Isaiah the prophet, touching the things of this world, and the inhabitants thereof.
“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: the grass withereth, the flower fadeth; because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever ... .Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?...Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing ... .All nations before Him are as nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. ... It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: that bringeth the princes to nothing; He maketh the judges of the earth as vanity” (Isa. 40:6-236The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: 7The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. 8The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. 9O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 10Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. 11He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. 12Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? 13Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? 14With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? 15Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. 16And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. 17All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 18To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? 19The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains. 20He that is so impoverished that he hath no oblation chooseth a tree that will not rot; he seeketh unto him a cunning workman to prepare a graven image, that shall not be moved. 21Have ye not known? have ye not heard? hath it not been told you from the beginning? have ye not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in: 23That bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. (Isaiah 40:6‑23)).
Though Jehovah has thus spoken, man in the pride of his heart is, in effect, ever repeating the proud boast of Nebuchadnezzar the king, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” (Dan. 4:3030The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty? (Daniel 4:30)), as he gazes with admiration upon the fascinating scene, spread out before him by the great tempter, of “all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” And instead of saying as the Lord did, “Get thee behind Me, Satan,” he is captivated by the delusive picture, forgets God, and sets at nought His counsel so that he has neither heart nor inclination to hear what the mighty God, the Creator and Upholder of all things, has to say concerning the great and wondrous kingdom He is going to establish on this earth.
But a momentous crisis is approaching when a mighty change - unlike anything that has ever occurred before - shall take place, for assuredly the day is coming (and there are not a few who think it near) when the “stone ... cut out of the mountain without hands” shall smite the great national image and break it in pieces. “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:3535Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2:35)).
This is further explained in verse 44: “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”
Also, in Daniel 7:1414And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14), we have the same facts announced with other particulars: “And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
This is the great event that shall be called forth at the sound of the Seventh Trumpet (but executed a little later on), when the great voices in heaven shall shout, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:1515And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)).
That will be a tremendous day of awakening to many when the vaunted glory of earth’s little kingdoms, which had so engrossed the time and energies of mankind for ages, will be seen in its true insignificance in comparison with the greatness and splendor of Christ’s coming kingdom, and when some of the leading nations, then found in direct and defiant rebellion against God, will melt away at the presence of the Lord, the King of kings, coming forth in majestic power and with judgment to establish His righteous reign on the earth (Revelation 19).
In view of these stupendous events that are now rapidly drawing near, how inestimably precious and cheering are the prospects of the children of God, when compared with the dread outlook of the poor worldlings (the “dwellers on the earth”) whose hearts and lives are wholly centered on earthly things, and who have nothing beyond to look forward to but “a certain fearful looking for of judgment.”
For the true Christian possesses not only present rest and peace, and the full assurance of eternal life through faith in the finished work of Christ, but has, moreover, that “blessed hope” and the soul-inspiring joy of looking forward with delightful anticipation to the bright and happy day - now near at hand - when they shall be caught up to be with the Lord in glory, and then after a brief interval in heaven to come forth as the armies of heaven with the Lord Himself, to judge the nations, and be partakers with Him in His glorious reign over the earth (Revelation 19). So they can, and do, most heartily join with all the saints of every age in ever repeating that first petition in the beautiful prayer which our Lord taught His disciples, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”