3. The Kingdom of God

 

 

 

“Therefore, you, be praying like this: ‘Our Father, the [One] in the heavens, let Your name be regarded as holy. Let Your kingdom come; let Your will be done, as in heaven, [so] also on the earth.” (Matthew 6.9-10 ALT)

 

The kingdom of God is the very core of the purpose of the eons. When He instructed His disciples to pray that the Father’s name be regarded as holy, and that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth, Jesus was touching the very heart of the purpose of the eons. The kingdom of God is the foundation of the purpose of the eons.

 

God’s plan to achieve His purpose is a progressive plan that begins and continues in His Son. We see the principle set forth when ancient Israel was called to enter the land. The Lord declared that He would drive out the enemies little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land (Exodus 23.30).

 

His plan has progressed through the eons and will continue to progress through the oncoming eons until all things in the heavens and on the earth are subjected to the Son of God, so that He alone is the King and the Sovereign of the entire creation of God. The Son’s mission is to see that God’s will is not only done on earth but that it is done throughout all God’s creation. Everything is working toward this one purpose when Christ will head up all in the heavens and on the earth that will lead to the abolishment of death and the reconciliation of all to God, whether on the earth or in the heavens. It is only when all has been subjected to Christ and all sovereignty and all authority and power have been nullified that the Son will subject Himself to His Father, so that God may be All in all. This is when the Son will give up the kingdom to His God and Father, and His will will reign supreme. See 1 Corinthians 15.20-28; Ephesians 1.10; Colossians 1.20.

 

The kingdom of God has no end; it is eternal. However, the eons were and are made by the Son to lead all creation into the adoration, love, worship and will of God, not through coercion or force but by the grace of God. Even the most hardened and unrighteous heart will, one day, willingly bend the knee, all to the glory of God (Isaiah 45.23; Philippians 2.10-11).

 

Beyond the eons, the kingdom of God is a united kingdom of love that is unlike any kingdom that mankind has ever seen or experienced. Men will never again rule over men, for all creation will be subjected to God and will be in the perfect will of God. Sin and death will reign no more. The weight of sin will be cast off for the weight of glory. The laws of God will be written on the hearts and minds of all mankind. Everyone will know exactly what to do; how to live righteously and to love fully. Can any of us imagine what it will be like to be bathed in the love of God and to be doing the will of God naturally and joyously, never living in fear and doubt again?

 

What does the kingdom of God represent? The unchallenged will of God in all! It is the all of God! The kingdom that will be manifested at the consummation of the eons means that God is All! It will be ever expanding in the will of God.

 

This is the purpose of the eons and explains the crisis of the eons when God’s Son was impaled on a stake at Calvary. It is for this reason that the major thread that runs through Scripture is this matter of a kingdom.

 

The kingdom of God is such a major tenet of Scripture that one chapter is not enough to do it justice. As such, what follows merely presents some of its aspects, along with some indication of how the kingdom of God is progressively manifested on earth throughout the eons, especially the eons of the eons.

 

The reign.

 

Now, the word kingdom appears many times throughout both Hebrew and Greek Scripture. Depending on the translation, kingdom, in its singular and plural forms, appears in the Bible over 400 times.

 

The word kingdom, as translated from the Greek word basileia, means “reign.” It can refer to the reign of a king, or “the realm ruled by a king or the territory, people, or sovereign power pertaining to it.” Thus, kingdom refers to the rule or reign over a realm. Instead of the word kingdom, the Young’s Literal Translation most often uses the word reign, which appears 300 times.

 

Throughout Scripture, we discover many types of kingdoms, from the kingdom of God and His Son, to the kingdoms of men, and to the kingdom or domain of darkness, which refers to the spiritual forces among the celestials.

 

The universal kingdom of God.

 

Although Scripture refers to many kingdoms, we need to be clear that when it comes to God, there is really only one kingdom; it is the kingdom of God, for God alone is the Supreme over all His creation. He reigns over all. It matters not if some of God’s creatures do not bow the knee to Him. Even the most rebellious of His creatures are under His reign. He operates all in accord with the counsel of His will (Ephesians 1.11 CV), for out of Him and through Him and for Him is all (Romans 11.36 CV). There is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for Him (1 Corinthians 8.6 CV). All that has occurred and will yet occur is in the counsel of God’s will.

 

In a pure sense, the kingdom of God refers to the absolute rule of God throughout His entire creation, whether on earth, among the celestials or anyplace in the vastness of His universe. His kingdom extends throughout the eons but is not restricted to the eons as we know them, for it is without end. Everything in God’s creation is in His kingdom, and He reigns over His creation. As David wrote: Thou art my King, O God (Psalm 44.4).

 

There is no one higher than God and no one who rules beyond God, for He is Supreme. For You, LORD, are most high above all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods (Psalm 97.9 NKJV). All power and dominion belong to God alone. God rules over all and absolutely nothing happens in His creation apart from His rule. There is no place in this vast universe that is outside His realm. He knows all that is going on in His universe and He is Supreme over all that is going on. Most importantly, He is working all things in His universe according to His purpose and plan.

 

Throne—a canopy or covering.

 

Another way to convey this thought is through the word throne. David declared: The Lord has established His throne in the heavens and His sovereignty (kingdom) rules over all (Psalm 103.19 NASB). A throne is the seat of authority. It is the place from which the rule comes forth. In the Hebrew language, throne conveys the thought of a canopy or a covering, implying protection. Thus, from the throne comes the rule over a realm, and it is this rule that provides protection to the realm over which it presides.

 

God alone is the one who rules over the universe in which our earth is located. It is His throne, His realm, His kingdom; and His throne is the canopy or protection over His entire realm. All rule comes from His throne, which is in heaven.

 

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. (1 Chronicles 29.11-12 NKJV)

 

“O LORD, the God of our fathers, art Thou not God in the heavens? And art Thou not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Thy hand so that no one can stand against Thee.” (2 Chronicles 20.6 NASB) [1]

 

So, when our hearts might begin to falter as we see upheaval, uncertainty and storm clouds forming upon the earth or in our personal lives, let us not be dis­mayed, discouraged or disheartened. God is in control, and all is being worked out according to His purpose and plan. His throne is everlasting and indestructible, and His canopy is over all!

 

Let it be set in our hearts that in God’s creation there really is only one kingdom. All other kingdoms and those who rule in them are subordinates in the kingdom of God. All kingdoms exist at the discretion of God alone. Although the character of the kingdom of God never changes and is endless, the kingdoms within His kingdom do change, as well as the administrators or rulers of these kingdoms. We see this in the history of the kingdoms of our world; kingdoms rise and fall. The Lord Himself declares that He uproots and plants kingdoms. All kingdoms have a life cycle; simply, they come and go as God wills; all in accord with His precise timing and His purpose and plan.

 

“At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull down, or to destroy it; if that nation against which I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it. Or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.” (Jeremiah 18.7-10 NASB)

 

Even the kingdom of Christ has limits since it will end at the consummation when Christ gives up the kingdom to God the Father, so that God may be All in all. However, there is a vast difference between Christ’s kingdom and all other kingdoms. Christ’s kingdom is not a failure. It is a kingdom of righteousness and justice, for He loves righteousness and justice (Psalm 33.5; 89.14).

 

When the Son gives up the kingdom to His God and Father it is for one reason alone. The Son will have done all the Father has asked in heading up all in the heavens and on the earth. When He has accomplished His mission, He must give up the kingdom to God, for this is in accord with the purpose of the eons. In no way does this diminish the Son’s place in God’s creation. Do not even entertain such a thought! He is forever the Son of God, the Head of the new creation. Giving up the kingdom gloriously means that He will have accomplished all the work the Father gave Him to do. When all is subjected to the Son, then the Son will subject all to the Father. Further, it is most likely that the administration or governing of God’s kingdom will change from a hierarchical, command type form of governing to a familial, paternal form of governing, like a father’s relationship to his children. All will know what to do; they will know the heart of God, for His laws will be upon their hearts and written in their minds (Hebrews 10.16). God the Father will lead His family of love. Praise God!

 

In all places of His dominion.

 

Now, David, as the Psalmist, adds to the comprehensiveness of God’s kingdom as he declared: “Bless the Lord, all His works, in all places of His dominion” (Psalm 103.22 NKJV).

 

In making this declaration, it seems that David did not restrict himself to the earth, for he looked out beyond the sky of our earth and included all the works of God in all places of His dominion, which must include all God’s creation.

 

From our vantage point on earth, we might think that we are the only beings in God’s vast universe apart from His angels (messengers) and other celestial beings. Truly, God has undertaken a mighty work on this earth through the creation of mankind, but are we to assume that this earth is the sum total of all the action in God’s vast universe? Do we live on the only planet in God’s vast universe that has created beings in residence? If earth is the only inhabited place, then the extent of God’s actual rule is restricted to one minuscule planet floating in an immensely huge universe. Earth is so small that it does not even measure up to one speck of dust.

 

Is earth all there is? According to David, it is not!

 

Considering the dimensions of the universe, God must have countless places of His dominion. Although man has long studied the universe and through recent advances in technology has scanned the vastness of the universe, he still does not know the full dimensions of God’s creation.

 

How many places of His dominion are there? We do not know, and we are not told. However, one of the oldest books of the Bible, Job, does give an indication that there are other inhabited places of His dominion in the universe.

 

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” (Job 1.6-7 NKJV)

 

God’s question to Satan, “From where do you come?” implies that the sons of God came from various places in the universe. What are we to conclude from this question?

 

In Scripture, sonship refers to rulership. The sons of God represent rulers in God’s kingdom, which is the reason for them appearing before the throne. Consequently, within the kingdom of God, there most likely are kingdoms ruled by rulers (messengers, angels) appointed by God. These are kingdoms within God’s kingdom, which could be called provinces or places of dominion. It is very similar to what we see in countries throughout the world. Most countries are divided in some manner, whether the division is called a province, state, region or some other designation. In each division, there are authorities who report to higher authorities in the country. God’s kingdom most likely is divided in a similar fashion, and the earth is within one of these divisions or provinces. Actually, the Son of God is the one who created all authority, so it only makes sense that what we see on earth today, although it has been corrupted by Satan and fallen mankind, is in some measure a reflection of God’s creative genius. Speaking of the Son, the word tells us: For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1.16 NASB).

 

Another proof that there are many places of His dominion is the fact that Christ is going to head up all in the heavens and on the earth (Ephesians 1.10). If there are no other dominions, then there is nothing for Him to head up outside the earth. Since there are other places of His dominion, we are left to wonder how Christ is going to head up all in the heavens. As we search Scripture, we do not have to wonder very long, for Paul has revealed to us that the body of Christ is seated together among the celestials, in Christ, and is being saved for His celestial kingdom (Ephesians 2.6; 2 Timothy 4.18).

 

Today, the body is among the celestials in spirit, to be manifested literally in the next eon. The body of Christ is the complement of the One completing the all in all (Ephesians 1.23 CV), and the body has been brought forth as the vessel to carry the evangel of Christ throughout the universe, that is, among the celestials and on the earth. Those who belong to the Lord are to be the complement or the fullness of Christ, and as the complement they will be part of Christ’s work to complete the all in all. What a glorious destiny!

 

Now, with these foundational but essential truths, let us trace some aspects of the kingdom as revealed in Scripture, beginning with the kingdoms of the earth. In doing so, we need to keep two thoughts in mind.

 

First, the kingdom of God is progressively manifested on the earth. In other words, it comes in phases, and it builds until the glory of God fills all the earth. Throughout the eons, the glory of the kingdom is mostly veiled from the sight and experience of mankind. However, the kingdom begins to shine brighter and brighter in the oncoming eons as the conquerors of Christ are revealed and then Christ Himself is revealed to the nations of the earth. It does not come about all at once but in phases as the veil is gradually pulled back and mankind begins to enter the holies of the holies, that is, into the presence of God.

 

As mentioned previously, one way to look at it is along the lines of the feasts that the Israelites were called to celebrate, particularly the fall feasts of the Trumpets and the Tabernacles. According to this thought, there was the Passover Age from Moses to Christ’s crucifixion, the Pentecostal Age from Pentecost to the presence (parousia) of Christ and the Tabernacles Age, which is when heaven comes to earth. God has been steadily and precisely moving toward His purpose of the eons, all in accord with His perfect plan.

 

Second, although there is only one true kingdom, individuals must enter into this kingdom to come under its reign. In other words, we must enter the kingdom of God, which means we must become willing subjects of the King and submit to His will. It is not a forgone conclusion that we are automatically in the kingdom, for it is through many tribulations that we must enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14.22).

 

All mankind will eventually enter in but not all at the same time. There are some who are chosen and predestined to enter as firstfruits to God who, in turn, will lead others into the kingdom in the eons of the eons.

 

Have dominion.

 

In Scripture, the first mention of the concept of kingdom or rule is what was spoken by God as He created man.

 

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth. (Genesis 1.26 DNT)

 

Some translations use the word rule and another simply uses the word over instead of dominion. The point is that man was brought forth to rule over, to have dominion over or to be over the creatures of God’s earth. Some call this the Dominion Mandate. This is a very important point, for it lays down an unchanging principle that is foundational to God’s purpose of the eons; that is, through God’s Son, mankind is destined to reign, not only over this earth and the future earth, but also among the celestials.

 

Of course, we know that the perfect order that was restored in six days was brought into ruin through the one transgression of Adam, which gave Satan, the usurper, jurisdiction over the world. The whole creation has groaned and suffered ever since that fateful day (Romans 8.22) as it waits for the seventh day of rest.

 

The kingdoms of the earth.

 

It wasn’t until after the deluge of Noah’s day that the first kingdom or form of government appeared on earth, and it came through the three sons of Noah.

 

When the flood had subsided, Noah drank of the wine and uncovered himself inside his tent. His son, Ham, saw his nakedness, and on account of this sin, his son Canaan was cursed to be the servant of his brothers.

 

He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant. May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.” (Genesis 9.26-27 NASB)

 

Because of this blessing and curse, two forms of government or, we could say, kingdoms formed on the earth. One was man-centered and the other was God-centered.

 

The first man-centered kingdom on earth came through Nimrod, a descendant of Ham.

 

And Cush begot Nimrod: he began to be mighty on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before Jehovah; therefore it is said, As Nimrod, the mighty hunter before Jehovah! And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. (Genesis 10.8-10 DNT)

 

Nimrod and his people became mighty and fierce conquerors that settled in the land of Shinar instead of heeding God’s command to multiply and fill the earth. Nimrod’s kingdom was the kingdom of Babel, which was also called Babylon. Babel means “confusion,” which is what occurred when God confused their language, so that they stopped building and were scattered across the face of the earth (Genesis 11.1-9).

 

Babylon has continued in some form or fashion throughout the long history of mankind. In fact, God used the descendants of Nimrod to chastise His called-out nation, Israel, by allowing them to be exiled to Babylon. This same chastisement has occurred again in our day as God’s people and the nations are in Babylonian captivity, awaiting deliverance by the coming of the kingdom of Christ.

 

Just as confusion came upon the land of Shinar, so has confusion come upon the nations of the earth as our present eon is being brought to its rightful conclusion.

 

The God-centered government followed the line of Noah’s son, Shem, and progressed from Peleg to Terah and then to Abraham, the Hebrew, until it broke forth through the sons of Israel as Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt as a theocratic nation under the one, true God—a kingdom of priests, a holy nation (Exodus 19.6), chosen to lead all the nations of earth to God. Although there were times of glory for the Israelites, their history is marked by much failure as they turned from their God and became apostate lovers, harlots (Hosea 1.2), with the kingdoms of the world. They became the tail instead of the head (Deuteronomy 28.13). In a sense, they joined with the Nimrods of the world, which placed them under Canaan and opposed to God’s divine law (see Genesis 9.25-26).

 

When the Son of God came to this earth over 2,000 years ago, He came seeking the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but the Jews rejected Him and demanded His death. They became a withered fig tree that bore no fruit, even a cursed fig tree that will not bear fruit, only leaves (Matthew 21.18-19; 24.32). The Israel we see in the Middle East today has only leaves; it has borne no fruit, nor will this apostate Israel ever bear fruit, although all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11.26).

 

Consequently, Jesus declared: “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it” (Matthew 21.43 NASB). The promise of the kingdom moved to the nations of the earth and a people called out from among the nations, along with a believing remnant from the common­wealth of Israel, that are called to bear fruit to the glory of God. They are called to become firstfruits of the kingdom at the coming (presence) of the Lord.  These fruit-bearing people are of the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ, the true Israel of God. They have come under the reign of Christ in this eon and will be made manifest to lead the nations into the kingdom of Christ.

 

Thus, we begin to see a progression of the kingdom in the history of the nations, starting with the descendants of Noah.

 

The prince of the power of the air.

 

However, to understand something of the history of the kingdoms of this earth, we need to be clear that the instigator behind the kingdoms of men is the adversary, Satan, the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2.2). Under Satan’s jurisdic­tion, the kingdoms of the earth can be best characterized by hatred that has led to war and killing of the masses. The adversary is the instigator of war among men, for when he is bound for a thousand years, war will cease; but when he is released from prison, he will deceive the nations to gather for one final battle, which God will promptly end by pouring fire (i.e., His judgment) upon the deceived nations (Revelation 20.1-3, 7-9).

 

We discover further proof of the adversary’s jurisdiction over the earth with Satan’s failed attempt to tempt Jesus by offering Him the kingdoms of the earth.

 

And, leading Him up into a high mountain, the Adversary shows Him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in a second of time. And the Adversary said to Him, “To you shall I be giving all this authority and the glory of them, for it has been given up to me, and to whomsoever I may will, I am giving it. If you, then, should ever be worshiping before me, it will all be yours.” (Luke 4.5-7 CV)

 

Satan is good at taking a portion of truth and twisting it to his advantage. In this case, it is true that the kingdoms of the inhabited earth were given up to him, but it was not a willing gesture on the part of man, for it was taken by deceit, not by honest gain. It appears that the adversary revealed all the kingdoms of time to Jesus, indicating that he is a force behind all the kingdoms throughout the history of mankind. Thank God; Jesus saw through the deceit of the adversary and dismissed him, and soon He will conquer the kingdoms of this world when, as the King of kings and the Lord of lords, He will slay the lawless with the breath of His mouth and remove all the tares from His kingdom (Matthew 13.36-43; 2 Thessalonians 2.8).

 

In the Revelation, we discover that a day is coming when all heaven will proclaim with a loud voice: The kingdom of this world became our Lord’s and His Christ’s, and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons! Amen!” (Revelation 11.15 CV). Praise God!

 

At times, it might appear that the adversary has had the upper hand in the kingdoms of men, but whatever the appearance might be, we need to be assured that all that has occurred and will yet occur in the history of mankind is in accord with God’s purpose of the eons.

 

There are two truths that we should keep in mind.

 

The first is that Christ is the mighty victor over the works of the adversary. The victory of the cross of Calvary is an absolute, 100% success. There is no defeat whatsoever in the finished work of the cross (see Matthew 16.8, Hebrews 2.14; 1 John 3.8).

 

The second is that Satan, as the adversary, is one of God’s greatest means by which to bring about His purpose and plan. Although Satan might be the chief of the jurisdiction of the air (Ephesians 2.2 CV) over this earth, he rules only by the will of God. Let us not forget that he is a subject in God’s kingdom. Do we think for a moment that if God did not want Satan to be in a place of rulership that he would be in that place today? Of course not; with one stroke God could remove Satan from ruling. In His wisdom and according to His purpose and plan, God has not only chosen not to remove him, but He has intended it to be this way from before the disruption of the world. In fact, Satan was created to be the adversary, so that God could accomplish all that He has purposed.

 

The serpent.

 

This point is so important to our understanding of God’s purpose that we need to consider the origin and created nature of Satan.

 

It is a sure thing that most of us have been taught that Satan was created a perfect, beautiful angel, but his pride got the best of him, and he fell into sin when he sought to rise above the throne he was given, even to rise to the level of God. This teaching is based on Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. However, a careful study of these texts presents some difficulties that cannot be resolved if they are left to apply to Satan.

 

Ezekiel 28 is about the king of Tyre, a human being and not an angel. The Lord God stated: “Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’ in the presence of your slayer, though you are a man and not God, in the hands of those who wound you? You will die the death of the uncircumcised” (Ezekiel 28.9-10a NASB). Scripture clearly states that he is a man who was created and is subject to death, something to which angels are not subject. The king of Tyre has gone the way of all mankind. Further, an argument could be made that this describes Adam who, before his fall, was perfect in beauty walking in the garden of Eden. He was a covering cherub because he possessed the throne (canopy) over the earth at that time.

 

Isaiah 14.12 is often incorrectly translated as referring to Lucifer, son of the morning, which most people believe speaks of Satan before his supposed fall. However, the word Lucifer is not the proper translation from the original Hebrew. The word should be rendered howl: Howl, son of the dawn!

 

On careful examination of Isaiah 14.9-17, it should become apparent that this does not refer to Satan and some fall in the past but most likely refers to the lawlessness of man that has gone forth in an attempt to conquer the world (Revelation 13.1-6). Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home (Isaiah 14.16-17 NASB)? This is not a description of Satan but of lawless mankind energized by Satan’s power. This is the man of sin, the man of lawless­ness, the son of stubbornness.

 

And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. (Revelation 13.2 NASB)

 

Today, Satan is the prince of the air associated with this earth. As such, he is still in the heavenly places (not in a fictitious hell) as the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12.10). In The Revelation of Jesus Christ, John perceived a battle between the dark angelic forces in heaven and the Lord’s angelic hosts. John saw this battle fought in heaven and Satan and his host not prevailing but being cast down to earth.

 

And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent called Adversary and Satan, who is deceiving the whole inhabited earth. It was cast into the earth, and its messengers were cast with it. (Revelation 12.9 CV)

 

In this description of Satan, we discover the key to his origin. He is called the ancient serpent. In Job, considered one of the oldest writings of Hebrew Scripture, there is a reference to the serpent. Three translations of the same verse are presented.

 

His Spirite hath garnished the heauens, and his hand hath formed the crooked serpent. (Job 26.13 GB)

 

By his spirit hath He arched the heavens, His hand hath pierced the fleeing serpent. (Job 26.13 REB)

 

By His spirit He makes the heavens seemly, His hand travails with the fugitive serpent. (Job 26.13 CV)

 

Through Job we are given a contrast of God creating two things.

 

First, by His spirit, God made the heavens. There were no hands involved and no effort on His part. We are given the impression of something that occurred with ease. The word seemly means “pleasing in appearance, suitable, proper, or fitting.” This is how the heavens were created, and we could say that it was a pleasing sight.

 

Second, by His hand, God made or formed the crooked, fleeing serpent or fugitive. It was not done by His spirit but by His hands, which implies an effort on the part of God. We labor with our hands and when we do, the object of labor is at a slight distance from our body. In like fashion, God labored over the serpent, keeping it at a distance. In other words, God travailed in forming the serpent. The forming of this creature was not suitable or seemly; it was, we could say, dirty work.

 

Why would God travail over the making of the serpent? There is only one answer that makes any sense; the serpent was not something pleasant. In the garden of Eden, we could say that the ancient serpent was odious, something unpleasant. John the apostle gives us the answer.

 

He who is habitually guilty of sin is a child of the Devil, because the Devil has been a sinner from the very beginning. The Son of God appeared for the purpose of undoing the work of the Devil. (1 John 3.8 WNT)

 

He who is doing the sin, of the devil he is, because from the beginning the devil doth sin; for this was the Son of God manifested, that he may break up the works of the devil…. (1 John 3.8 YLT)

 

He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3.8 HNV)

 

In this one verse, as presented in three translations, there is little doubt that the devil, who is the ancient serpent, was a sinner from the very beginning. But there is more.

 

You are of your father, the Adversary, and the desires of your father you are wanting to do. He was a man-killer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, for truth is not in him. Whenever he may be speaking a lie, he is speaking of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8.44 CV)

 

In other words, the ancient serpent was created a sinner, and this is why God had to form him from a distance with His hands and why it was such travail to God. Satan was created a sinner and a man-killer to be the adversary of God and of mankind.

 

Jehovah declared to Isaiah: I have created the waster to destroy (Isaiah 54.16 ASV; also CV/KJV/JPS/ LITV/MKJV); and I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things (Isaiah 45.7 ASV; also DNT/GB/HNV/LITV/MKJV). [2]

 

With these verses, there should be little doubt that God created evil itself and created the serpent to be the administrator of evil.

 

In the day of the Lord, the Lord will come and deal with the man-killer, the ancient serpent, the dragon (monster). Isaiah was given a prophecy of that day.

 

For behold, the LORD is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; and the earth will reveal her bloodshed, and will no longer cover her slain. In that day the LORD will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, with His fierce and great and mighty sword, even Leviathan the twisted serpent; and He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea. (Isaiah 26.21-27.1 NASB) [3]

 

In that day the Lord with his sore and great and mightie sword shall visite Liuiathan, that pearcing serpent, euen Liuiathan, that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. (Isaiah 27.1 GB)

 

When all these Scriptures are looked at together, it becomes apparent that they refer to one and the same being:  And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent called Adversary and Satan, who is deceiving the whole inhabited earth (Revelation 12.9 CV).

 

Hopefully, this presents the proper view of the adversary. If he was created by God to be evil and a sinning adversary from the beginning, then his creation is in accord with the purpose of the eons. Thus, Satan’s rulership in the kingdom of God has purpose, and that purpose is to provide the perfect contrast to God and His nature.

 

It is clear that God uses Satan to bring about His purpose and plan. One example is Paul, the apostle who was given abundant revelations from God. Most likely, to keep Paul from exalting himself and creating a “ministry” centered on himself, God sent a messenger (an angel) of Satan to buffet Paul the rest of his life (2 Corinthians 12.7). Paul asked for the messenger to be taken out of the way, but the Lord answered: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power (My power) is perfected in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12.9 NASB). Thus, God used Satan to keep Paul from relying on himself.

 

In Job’s life, we also see the same principle at work. In both cases, it is important to note that Satan was limited in what he could do. In Job’s case, God first told Satan he could not touch Job’s body, and then He gave him permission to touch his body but not to kill him (Job 1.12; 2.6). In the end, God received the glory from Job’s life. “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee; therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42.5-6 NASB).

 

We must keep a proper perspective. Satan cannot work outside the will of God and is used by God to bring about His purpose. However, let us not make the mistake of giving credit to Satan for everything bad or evil. We must not forget that man partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man can create his own mischief without the aid of Satan and the demonic host.

 

The Most High rules in the kingdom of men.

 

Regardless of Satan’s authority, or regardless what a kingdom looks like here on earth, or regardless what created being is in charge, one principle does not change: God rules in the kingdom of men, for the heavens do rule. This principle of God’s rule is most clearly demonstrated in the story of Nebuchadnezzar.

 

In the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar was given dreams and Daniel was called upon to interpret them because in him was the Spirit of the Holy God (Daniel 4.8). In his dream, Nebuchadnezzar was told that the Most High rules in the kingdoms of men.

 

The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men. (Daniel 4.17 ASV)

 

Then, Daniel was called upon to interpret the dream, at which time he revealed the second part of this great principle―the heavens do rule.

 

And whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, after that thou shalt have known that the heavens do rule. (Daniel 4.26 ASV)

 

God has not relinquished His rule over any part of His creation, most of all over earth and mankind. The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, for the heavens do rule, was the lesson learned by Nebuchadnezzar, but it is a lesson that seems to have been lost down through the history of mankind’s rulers. However, the principle is very simple and straightforward. God is in the heavens and He rules; thus, the heavens do rule, and He extends this rule into the kingdoms of men. The Psalmists confirm this fact.

 

Jehovah hath established his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all (Psalm 103.19 ASV). But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever he pleased (Psalm 115.3 ASV).

 

Through this dream, Nebuchadnezzar was warned to break off his sins by being righteous and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor (Daniel 4.27). If he did not turn from his ways, his kingdom would be cut off from him for a season until he realized that the heavens do rule. Instead of heeding the warning, the king glorified himself, giving himself honor. When he exalted himself above God (denying God’s rule over his kingdom), his kingdom was taken from him. Seven periods of time passed over him until he knew that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men.

 

Seven is God’s number of perfection. It is the perfect completion of that which is in view. In this case, it was the completion of Nebuchadnezzar’s chastisement, which is an encouragement that God’s chastisement has limits and is not eternal or without end. It is also prophetic of the coming of God’s Son to rule over this earth in the seventh day, the sabbatical rest day of 1,000 years.

 

When Nebuchadnezzar returned to his senses, he declared: And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine under­standing returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and hon­ored him that liveth for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation; and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? (Daniel 4.34-35 ASV).

 

Another compelling proof of this principle is brought to light through Jesus’ own words when He was in the custody of Pilate and about t0 face the cross.

 

Pilate therefore said to Him, “You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?” Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me up to you has {the} greater sin.” (John 19.10-11 NASB)

 

Consequently, all authority on earth comes from the throne of God. Paul later confirmed this same principle to the Romans.

 

Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13.1 NASB)

 

In other words, no individual in a place of governmental authority in the heavens or on the earth holds a ruling position apart from the sovereign will of God. This may be difficult for us to understand; but whether the ruler believes in God or does not believe, is righteous or unrighteous, is good or evil, is just or unjust, that ruler exists because of God. If this were not true, then God would not truly be the Supreme of His kingdom. After all, all authority, visible or invisible, heavenly or earthly, is created by God’s Son. [4]

 

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him. (Colossian 1.16 NASB)

 

Let us not forget that our Lord Jesus Christ has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28.18). On the cross He disarmed principalities and pow­ers (Colossians 2.15). He is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2.10). God raised His Son from among the dead and seated Him at His right hand among the celestials far above all principality and power and might and domin­ion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1.20-21). Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2.9-11 NASB).

 

We do not see His authority fully manifested over this earth at this time except, in some measure, in the ecclesia, which is His body. Praise God; the day is coming soon when He will rule through His conquerors and then in person, no longer hidden from man’s view. God’s King, along with the sons of the kingdom, is coming!

 

The reign [kingdom] of the heavens.

 

From that time began Jesus to proclaim and to say, ‘Reform ye, for come nigh hath the reign of the heavens.’ (Matthew 4.17 YLT)

 

‘For I say to you, that if your righteousness may not abound above that of the scribes and Pharisees, ye may not enter to the reign of the heavens.’ (Matthew 5.20 YLT)

 

‘And, going on, proclaim saying that, the reign of the heavens hath come nigh…. (Matthew 10.7 YLT)

 

And he answering said to them that—‘To you it hath been given to know the secrets of the reign of the heavens, and to these it hath not been given…. (Matthew 13.11 YLT)

 

The New Testament (Greek Scripture) begins with the book of Matthew, which uniquely contains the phrase the reign of the heavens or the kingdom of the heavens, [5] which occurs thirty-two times, and was the message of John the baptist, Jesus and His first disciples. Their message was directed exclusively to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not to the unbelieving nations; therefore, it is best to understand their message from the perspective of the Hebrew prophets.

 

Daniel the prophet has left us the explanation of this matter as he unfolded the revelation of four earthly kingdoms, followed by God’s kingdom that will crush all the previous ones and rise for the eons.

 

“In the days of those kings the God of the heavens is setting up a kingdom which shall not be pawned for the eon. And the kingdom shall not be left to another people. It is crushing and terminating all these kingdoms, and it shall rise for the eons.” (Daniel 2.44 CV)

 

In Daniel 7.13-14, we are given a glorious picture of Christ as the Son of Mankind standing before the Transferrer (Ancient) of Days and receiving jurisdiction (dominion), esteem (glory) and a kingdom with eonian jurisdiction that will not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be confined. In Luke’s account, we are given further reinforcement of this fact.

 

“He shall be great, and Son of the Most High shall He be called. And the Lord God shall be giving Him the throne of David, His father, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for the eons. And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation.” (Luke 1.32-33 CV)

 

Notice that this kingdom is in direct relation to the promise to David to have a son sitting on his throne, which reveals the progression of the kingdom that will come upon this earth. Daniel’s view was limited in some respects, for he only saw his people, the Hebrews, coming into this kingdom. In his mind, what was revealed to him referred to his people only (Daniel 9.24; 10.14; 11.14; 12.1), but we know that it refers to the true sons of Israel, the ones who have circumcised hearts, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1.13 NASB).

 

A careful study of Daniel 7 will reveal that the kingdom in question is an earthly kingdom, for it is a kingdom that has jurisdiction under the entire heavens (not in it or throughout it) (Daniel 7.27). In other words, it has jurisdiction over the entire earth. Further, this kingdom will be given to the saints, which, again, to Daniel referred to his people.

 

The Israelites expected the God of the heavens to bring His rule down to earth, and this is the primary meaning of the reign of the heavens. This was their expectation, and it will be fulfilled when Messiah Jesus sets up His kingdom over this earth.

 

Most notably is the fact that the twelve apostles of Christ were seeking and expecting the kingdom to be restored to Israel as well. After speaking to His disciples about the seven parables of the secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, Jesus asked them if they had understood them, to which they responded that they had. Since, at this point in their walk with the Lord, they knew nothing of the body of Christ seated among the celestials that was revealed to Paul at a later point, their understanding had to be in line with the Hebrew prophets and the expectation of the Israelites for Messiah to come and set up His kingdom on earth.

 

When Simon Peter’s brother Andrew first discovered that Jesus was the Messiah, he ran to his brother Simon and declared: “We have found the Messiah” (John 1.41). This is what they were looking for, and it was based entirely on what the Hebrew prophets had foretold.

 

After His resurrection, Jesus walked among His disciples and for forty days spoke to them that which concerns the kingdom of God [6] (Acts 1.3 CV). Just before He was taken up in a cloud to ascend back to His Father in heaven, Jesus was questioned by His disciples: “Lord, art Thou at this time restoring the kingdom to Israel?” Yet He said to them, “Not yours is it to know times or eras which the Father placed in His own jurisdiction” (Acts 1.6-7 CV).

 

At His first advent, Jesus came to preach the kingdom of the heavens to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10.6; 15.24) and His parting words to His disciples confirm this fact. What was the perspective of the out-called (ecclesia) of Israel? Their expectation was for Messiah to appear on the earth and bring the rule of the heavens to the earth. They had no aspiration of “going to heaven.” For them, the heavens do rule meant that the sovereign rule of God will finally come to the earth when Messiah is seated on the throne of David (Luke 1.32-33), executing the will of God on earth. This is why Jesus told His twelve disciples to pray: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6.10).

 

What is our view today? Are we looking to “go to heaven,” or are we waiting for the Son of God to come out OF heaven, so that we can meet Him and escort him back to this earth, so that He can begin to reign over the kingdom of this earth? Where will Christ be reigning during the oncoming eon? He will reign over the earth. Where will His body-bride be while He reigns? Paul tells us to comfort ourselves that we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4.17). Where He is, we will be. We will be forever in His presence once we come into His presence at the end of this eon, whether He is heading up all on the earth or in the heavens. We will be engaged in His business, which is in both the physical and the celestial, spiritual realm. This includes ministering to God.

 

Now, through the interpretation of a dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel prophesied of the eonian kingdom of Christ.

 

‘And in the days of these kings raise up doth the God of the heavens a kingdom that is not destroyed—to the age, and its kingdom to another people is not left: it beateth small and endeth all these kingdoms, and it standeth to the age [confirmed for the eons].’ (Daniel 2.44 YLT [CV])

 

At the end of our present age or eon, the God of the heavens will raise up a kingdom on earth that will not be destroyed but will last to the end of the eons. All other earthly kingdoms will not stand in the day of this kingdom, for this will be the day in which the heavens do rule on earth. [7]

 

A kingdom of righteousness, justice, peace and lovingkindness.

 

When the heavens do rule on earth, the inhabitants of this earth will finally experience that for which their hearts have longed. The foundation of the kingdom of God on earth will be righteousness and justice, which will usher in peace and lovingkind­ness throughout the earth. When He comes to establish His kingdom over this earth, Christ will judge in righteousness. Under His reign there will be no end to peace. He will uphold His kingdom with justice and righteousness. He will act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. His lovingkindness will fill the earth. The very foundation of His throne is righteousness and justice, for He loves righteous­ness and justice.

 

And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19.11-16 NASB)

 

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The LORD our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23.5-6 NASB)

 

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore [lit. henceforth and age-abiding, or eonian]. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this. (Isaiah 9.6-7 NASB [REB/CV])

 

“In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth.” (Jeremiah 33.15 NASB)

 

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the loving­kindness of the LORD. (Psalm 33.5 NASB)

 

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; lov­ing­kindness and truth go before You. How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O LORD, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day, and by Your righteousness they are ex­alted. For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted. (Psalm 89.14-17 NASB)

 

A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness. (Isaiah 16.5 NASB)

 

War will cease and the Lord will judge the nations and settle all disputes according to God’s law. The nations will even desire to learn the ways of the Lord. This is in full keeping with another word from Isaiah: For when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness (Isaiah 26.9 NASB).

 

This is the heart of the word of the kingdom.

 

The word of the kingdom.

 

As He walked among the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Jesus proclaimed the reign of the heavens, but He also spoke of the secrets of the kingdom of the heav­ens through parables, so that only His closest disciples understood. In fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, most of the Jews did not understand them, for their hearts had become dull to the things of God.

 

So answering, He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets [or, mysteries] of the kingdom of the heavens, but to those [ones] it has not been given. … For this reason I speak in allegories [parables] to them, that seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matthew 13.11, 13 ALT)

 

In the context of the secrets of the kingdom of the heavens, Jesus referred to the going forth of the word of the kingdom as a message to be sown in the heart of the hearer.

 

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matthew 13.19 KJV)

 

Every one hearing the word of the reign, and not understanding—the evil one doth come, and doth catch that which hath been sown in his heart; this is that sown by the way. (Matthew 13.19 YLT)

 

In the strictest sense, the word of the kingdom (reign) refers to the Messianic kingdom in the next eon as the holy and blessed enter life eonian; however, it is actually much bigger than this. The word of the kingdom encompasses the vastness of the kingdom of Christ that is to come not only on earth, but also in the heavens in the oncoming eons as Christ heads up all. The ecclesia, which is the body of Christ, will be enjoyers of an allotment in the kingdom, not only on earth, but also among the celestials, in what Paul called the celestial kingdom. But it is even bigger than this, for during these eons, Christ will head up all in heaven and on earth until He has subjected all to Himself, and He fills all in all. When He has accomplished the mission given to Him by His Father, then He will deliver up the kingdom to His Father, so that God may be All in all. At the consummation of the eons, all mankind will enter the kingdom of God to be enjoyers of God’s love. This is the all-encompassing word of the kingdom.

 

The celestial kingdom.

 

For those who believe in Jesus in this eon, that is, the ones who are members of the body of Christ, the word of the kingdom speaks of the celestial kingdom.

 

According to Paul, we could say that the message of the kingdom encompasses far more than just the earth or the physical realm. It also encompasses the celestial realm, or what is called the celestial kingdom or celestial reign. Paul is the one through whom the secret of the celestials was revealed, and this secret refers to the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ.

 

Spiritually speaking, today, the predestined are blessed with every spiritual bless­ing among the celestials, in Christ, and are seated together among the celestials, in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1.3; 2.6 CV). This is a present spiritual reality pointing to­ward a future manifestation when the conquerors of Christ will enter the celestial and spiritual realm. The day will come, and we pray soon, that the anointed firstfruits will enter the celestial kingdom and reign with Christ as He heads up all, both in the heavens and on the earth (Ephesians 1.10).

 

At the end of his life, Paul joined the celestial kingdom with the oncoming eons.

 

Yet the Lord stood beside me, and He invigorates me, that through me the heralding may be fully discharged, and all the nations should hear; and I am rescued out of the mouth of the lion. The Lord will be rescuing me from every wicked work and will be saving me for His celestial kingdom: to Whom be glory for the eons of the eons. Amen! (2 Timothy 4.17-18 CV)

 

In the spiritual sense, Paul saw himself already among the celestials, but he also saw the coming eon in which he, along with all who attain to the out-resurrection (Philippians 3.11), will enter the celestial kingdom as a new creation in Christ with a spiritual body.

 

There are bodies celestial as well as bodies terrestrial. But a different glory, indeed, is that of the celestial, yet a different that of the terrestrial, another glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for star is excelling star in glory. Thus also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is roused in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor; it is roused in glory. It is sown in infirmity; it is roused in power. It is sown a soulish body; it is roused a spiritual body. If there is a soulish body, there is a spiritual also. Thus it is written also, The first man, Adam, “became a living soul:” the last Adam a vivifying Spirit. But not first the spiritual, but the soulish, thereupon the spiritual. The first man was out of the earth, soilish; the second Man is the Lord out of heaven. Such as the soilish one is, such are those also who are soilish, and such as the Celestial One, such are those also who are celestials. And according as we wear the image of the soilish, we should be wearing the image also of the Celestial. Now this I am averring, brethren, that flesh and blood is not able to enjoy an allotment in the kingdom of God, neither is corruption enjoying the allotment of incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15.40-50 CV)

 

This celestial kingdom comes into full view for all the saints at the presence of the Lord when He comes to resurrect those who have believed and trusted in Him, obeyed His word (law), and conquered through His love. In that glorious day, the saints will be wearing the image of the Celestial and enjoy an allotment in the kingdom of God, which is the kingdom of the Son of His love, the celestial kingdom for which Paul longed, and for which we are waiting.

 

Until that day, the body of Christ is in spiritual warfare with the dark forces among the celestials. Paul pealed back the curtain on this warfare and the way to fight the battle.

 

Put on the panoply of God, to enable you to stand up to the stratagems of the Adversary, for it is not ours to wrestle with blood and flesh, but with the sovereignties, with the authorities, with the world-mights of this darkness, with the spiritual forces of wickedness among the celestials. Therefore take up the panoply of God that you may be enabled to withstand in the wicked day, and having effected all, to stand. (Ephesians 6.11-13 CV)

 

Why is there so much conflict between the body of Christ and these unseen, dark powers? There is only one possible explanation, and that pertains to who will reign among the celestials. Today, these dark, celestial forces have jurisdiction over this earth, influencing the nations and kingdoms of the world. But the day is coming when they will be cast out and replaced with a people, namely, the body of Christ, whose reign under the Headship of Christ will extend throughout the universe. They will rise in rank above the angels in the kingdom of God, and they will be charged with setting things right (judging) with the angels. This is the multifarious wisdom of God that is being made known to the sovereignties and the authorities among the celestials, in accord with the purpose of the eons (Ephesians 3.10-11 CV).

 

Beloved in Christ, entering the celestial kingdom of Christ and being joined with Christ as He heads up all in the heavens and on the earth is to be our fondest hope or expectation (Ephesians 1.10). It is what we are to be striving to enter. Our hope is not about rising in the air as so many preachers stress in our day. Do not put your hope in what many call the rapture. Our hope is to be transfigured into the body of His glory and to always be with our Lord, which is intimately con­nected with the celestials and the work to be done on earth in the oncoming eons.

 

Our hope is to reign over the earth and among the celestials, which is a realm beyond our expectations. This is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Although the word celestial means “on-heavens” or “that part of the universe which is higher than all the heavens,” perhaps it is best to think of the celestials as another dimension rather than a specific place. What if the throne of God is not billions of miles away but in our midst, hidden by the limits of our physical dimension? Something to think about!

 

The spiritual kingdom.

 

Entering into the manifestation of this kingdom, which means we will be trans­ported into Christ’s kingdom for the eons of the eons, should be our fondest desire. But is this all future, or can we taste of this celestial kingdom today? The celestials speak of the spiritual kingdom; something we are to taste today.

 

God is spirit (John 4.24), and as such, God’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. Of course, our world system or kosmos [orderly arrangement] does not recognize the spiritual nature of God’s rule, for the kingdoms of men are mainly built upon the temporal and the physical, that is, what is transitory and what can be seen and felt.

 

Israel’s failure as a nation was due to its lack of faith (Hebrews 4.2), which ultimately comes from the lack of knowing that God’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. They viewed the whole matter of earthly kingdoms as the rest of the world does, which is clearly seen in the encounter Nicodemus had with Jesus (John 3). To this day, this attitude remains unchanged. However, in the next eon, the true Israel will know God’s kingdom in the spiritual light, for they will enter the renascence [8] with new hearts and spirits.

 

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep mine ordinances, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36.26-28 ASV; also Hebrews 8.7-12)

 

Nicodemus was told that he had to be born of water and the spirit to enter the kingdom (John 3.5), which refers to entering the millennial kingdom of Christ (receiving eonian life). This is what was prophesied through Ezekiel. Those who enter eonian life to be enjoyers of an allotment in the kingdom must be regenerated with a new heart and spirit.

 

But the good news is that those who have believed in Jesus and His finished work on the cross in this eon have already received an earnest of the spirit of God and their uncircumcised hearts are being circumcised. They are coming into the renascence, or we might say that they are tasting the true renascence to come. They have not received the full anointing of the spirit of God, and God’s laws have not been fully put upon their hearts and written in their minds, so that they are as natural to them as breathing. But praise God; Christ’s body is being built as a temple of God; each believer is a temple of the spirit of God.

 

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2.12-13 NASB)

 

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3.16 NASB)

 

Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. (2 Corinthians 1.21-22 KJV; [earnest in ASV, CV, DNT, GB, LITV, WEB, YLT])

 

Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 5.5 KJV; [earnest in ASV, CV, DNT, GB, LITV, WEB, YLT])

 

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation–having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge [earnest] of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1.13-14 NASB [earnest in ASV, CV, DNT, GB, KJV, LITV, WEB, YLT])

 

Notice that for us who believe in this eon we receive the spirit of God as an earnest or a pledge of what is to come, which points to the promise of eonian life in the eons to come as well as immortality. The revelation given to Paul by the risen Christ transcends the promise revealed through Ezekiel and even what Jesus taught Nicodemus. Paul carried the thought to new heights as he revealed the true nature of the body of Christ, which is to be an entirely new creation, not merely a regenerated man, but a transfigured, spiritual man (body) that is destined to be constituted to reign among the celestials (1 Corinthians 15.44-57; 2 Corinthians 5.17) for the eons of the eons.

 

Writing to believers from among the nations, Paul encouraged their hearts that they are growing into a holy temple in the Lord.

 

So, consequently, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the holy ones and [members] of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being [the] cornerstone, in whom [the] entire building having been joined together is growing into a holy temple in [the] Lord, in whom also you [plural] are being built together into a habitation for God in the Spirit. (Ephesians 2.19-22 ALT)

 

Is there anything greater than being built together into a habitation for God in the spirit? This speaks of the spiritual nature of the kingdom of God that is in accord with the purpose of the eons.

 

The spiritual kingdom―a spiritual house.

 

The spiritual kingdom is a spiritual house of living stones.

 

And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2.4-5 NASB)

 

King’s of old lived in stone castles that were often cold and dark. The castles had no life, for they were made of inanimate stones. But God’s King is a living stone, and His kingdom is made up of living stones that are being built together in Christ into a spiritual house. The living stones are to become a holy priesthood in the age to come. Those found worthy to attain to the first resurrection will be priests unto God. 

 

Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrec­tion; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thou­sand years. (Revelation 20.6 NASB)

 

Who are the ones that will become a royal priesthood? They are the ones that know and unashamedly declare who Jesus, the Son of Mankind, is.

 

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16.16 NASB)

 

This is the Rock upon which this spiritual house is being built to the glory of God. Jesus is the Son of the living God who is building a living house of living stones. There is no death in this house, for its living stones are destined for the first resurrection, immortality and eonian life.

 

Those who conquer through the love of Christ, walking in a manner worthy of the kingdom, not defiling themselves with the things of this world, will enter into the coming kingdom as priests of the order of Melchizedek. They are like the sons of Zadok who will minister both in the sanctuary to the Lord (celestial realm) and in the outer court (physical realm) to the mortals (see Ezekiel 44).

 

Christ will be the King-Priest on the order of Melchizedek. His priesthood is not of the order of Aaron.

 

So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” (Hebrews 5.5-6 NASB; see Hebrews 5.6, 10; 6.20; chapter 7)

 

Melchizedek of old who met Abraham is a type of Christ the King-Priest.

 

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. (Hebrews 7.1-2 NASB)

 

When He comes to this earth, Christ will come as the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace, and His kingdom of king-priests will administer righteousness and peace throughout His kingdom. In their glorified, spiritual bodies, they will be able to move freely between the celestial and the earthly (physical) realms.

 

The kingdom of the Son of His love.

 

Today, the only ones who acknowledge the spiritual kingdom of God, the spiritual house of God, and are in varying degrees under the reign of this kingdom, are the members of the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ, that one day will literally be transported into the kingdom of the Son of His love. However, until that day, in spirit, we taste of this kingdom of love.

 

Therefore we also, from the day on which we hear, do not cease praying for you and requesting that you may be filled full with the realization of His will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, you to walk worthily of the Lord for all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and growing in the realization of God; being endued with all power, in accord with the might of His glory, for all endurance and patience with joy; at the same time giving thanks to the Father, Who makes you competent for a part of the allotment of the saints, in light, Who rescues us out of the jurisdiction of Darkness, and transports us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in Whom we are having deliverance, the pardon of sins…. (Colossians 1.9-14 CV)

 

We cannot see with our natural eyes the kingdom of the Son of His love any more than we can see the jurisdiction of darkness. We know they exist because we have been given the spirit of God that allows us to discern that which is spiritual. The kingdom of God is a present spiritual power that operates in our lives.

 

What is the source of this power? Is it not the grace of God, which is the overwhelming power that takes the ugly and transforms it into the joyously beautiful, and the love of God? In his first letter to Timothy, Paul wrote: Yet the grace of our Lord overwhelms, with faith and love in Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 1.14 CV). The power of grace overwhelms us with the faith and love of Christ. It is not our faith and love any more than it is our grace. It is all of God. But what is the greatest of these? Is it not love (1 Corinthians 13.13)? The power of God is the power of love. This is why Jesus emphasized love while He walked on this earth at His first advent and why the apostles stress love in their epistles.

 

We who have believed are experiencing a foretaste of the kingdom of the Son of His love. It is God’s love for His Son that has made it possible for us to enter the kingdom of God, which is not only a spiritual kingdom but also a kingdom of love. It is the love of Christ into which we have been transported.

 

Today, Christ walks among His body on earth dispensing His blessings of love and manifesting the kingdom as a present spiritual power driven by grace, which overwhelms with faith and love. Our Beloved Lord is not trillions of light years from us, for the word is Christ among (in) the nations, the expectation of glory! By faith and with great expectation we wait for the presence of the Lord when He will peal back the veil to welcome us into His celestial kingdom.

 

Paul never lost sight of the coming celestial kingdom and pressed on toward it. Until the glory of that day, let us be like Paul.

 

Brethren, I count not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3.13-14 ASV)

 

What is the goal unto the prize? It is entering the coming kingdom and glory through the out-resurrection (Philippians 3.11 WAET) or first resurrection reserved for those who walk worthy of the God who calls into His own kingdom and glory. It is not man’s kingdom; it is God’s kingdom. It is not man’s glory; it is God’s glory.

 

The kingdom and glory.

 

You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. (1 Thessalonians 2.10-12 NASB)

 

Paul saw the goal set, not only before him, but before all the brethren in Christ, and he encouraged the brethren in Thessalonica to walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. This is the same thing as pressing on toward the goal for the prize. The call is an invitation to enter God’s kingdom and glory in the next eon and to be part of the work of Christ in heading up all until all is filled with His glory.

 

The Psalmist expressed the desire of his heart as one who saw the day when the whole earth would be filled with His glory.

 

And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen. (Psalm 72.19 NASB)

 

However, glory will not be manifested all at once as if the whole earth will explode with glory. No; the kingdom and glory will take root in the earth and be progressively manifested until not only the earth, but the entire creation of God is filled with the glory of God.

 

Today, the glory of God can be seen in some measure in the creation around us, some of which is breathtaking in its beauty and magnificence. This form of glory is in the physical realm, but there is a glory in the spiritual realm that is veiled in our day. It is the glory of Christ that is being formed in the called-out vessel, the ecclesia, which is the body of Christ. Christ in you, the hope of glory (Colossians 1.27)!

 

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3.18 NASB)

 

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves…. (2 Corinthians 4.7 NASB)

 

The glory of the Lord will come in a people before it is manifested in the earth. In fact, the glory of the Lord will be manifested to the nations of the earth in His people. Today, it is hidden in earthen vessels, waiting to be manifested in spiritual, celestial bodies.

 

Habakkuk the prophet stood on his guard post to keep watch to see what the Lord would speak to him. The Lord answered by telling him to record the vision, for the vision yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay (Habakkuk 2.1-3 NASB). The Lord continued to speak to Habakkuk five specific woes. In the third woe, the Lord declared that He makes the nations grow weary for nothing, For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea(Habakkuk 2.14 NASB; also Isaiah 11.9).

 

All of man’s fading glory must be brought to naught, so that the glory of the Lord will go forth.

 

The writer of the Hebrews epistle brought this prophecy to light as pertaining to the coming of the Lord, for yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay (Hebrews 10.37 NASB). The world to come is the subject of the Hebrews epistle (Hebrews 2.5), and within this context is the promise of bringing many sons to glory through the One who is now crowned with glory and honor (Hebrews 2.9-10).

 

When Christ, the Son of Man, comes to reign over this earth in the next eon, He will come in His glory and sit upon the throne of His glory.

 

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory…. (Matthew 25.31 KJV)

 

As he beheld the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple, Isaiah the prophet heard the seraphim calling out to one another (Isaiah 6.1-2 NASB).

 

And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6.3 NASB)

 

When the Lord sits on His throne of glory, the whole earth will be filled with His glory. But take note that when He does come to sit upon His throne over this earth, He will be glorified in His saints on that day.

 

These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1.9-10 NASB)

 

This is the beginning of the glory of the Lord being manifested in the earth and through a people that will progress until it has filled the whole earth, which will occur during the Kingdom or Tabernacles Age, the next eon (Numbers 14.20). However, as glorious as this eon will be, I do not believe that it will be the culmination of glory. It is not until the earth upon which we live enters its own lake of fire to be purged of all wickedness that glory will truly fill the earth upon which mankind lives. This does not occur until the last eon, the eon of the eons, God’s day, the eighth day, in which all is new and the glory of God comes down out of heaven as the city-bride, a people conformed to the image of the Son, envelopes the entire earth. This is God’s purpose and plan!

 

We could also say that glory does not fill all until God the Father is All in all. When He is all there is only one word to describe it, and that word is glory. The glory of God will shine brighter and brighter until it bursts forth out of heaven to fully envelope the new earth.

 

A bride having the glory of God.

 

John, the apostle who received the Patmos vision, The Unveiling of Jesus Christ, saw a new heaven and a new earth and the glory coming down out of heaven.

 

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them….” (Revelation 21.1-3 NASB)

 

And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. (Revelation 21.10-11 NASB)

 

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. (Revelation 21.23 NASB)

 

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21.24-27 NASB)

 

Today, there is much talk about the Jerusalem that now sits on the land in what is presently the state of Israel, as if this is where the Lord and His people will reside in the oncoming eons. However, this Jerusalem has been judged and is mystically called Sodom and Egypt, where also the Lord was crucified (Jeremiah 19.10-13; Revelation 11.8 NASB).

 

Paul, the apostle of the nations, sheds light on the matter in his epistle to the Galatians.

 

For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegori­cally speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Je­rusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. For it is written, “REJOICE, BARREN WOMAN WHO DOES NOT BEAR; BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR; FOR MORE NUMEROUS ARE THE CHIL­DREN OF THE DESOLATE THAN OF THE ONE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.” And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? “CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN.” So then, brethren, we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4.22-31 NASB)

 

Carefully follow Paul’s thought. The Jerusalem on earth corresponds with the old covenant and Hagar, which means the city we see on earth called Jerusalem is not our city. We are not children of the bondwoman and her son; they must be cast out. In other words, the Jerusalem of our day must be rejected. We are to be sons of the free woman. Paul declares that the Jerusalem above is our mother. We have no Jerusalem on earth in our present eon or in the one to come. We are born from above!

 

We are to be heirs of the Jerusalem that is above, the new Jerusalem that will come down out of heaven having the glory of God. This is the bride of the Lamb, a city-temple of glorified people in spirit, all in the image of the Son of Glory. But take note that the glory of the city will illuminate the earth and the kings of the nations will bring their glory into the city. What is the source of the nations’ glory? It is the city of God!

 

The celestial and the physical realm will become one, and the new earth will be the center of the affairs of God’s vast creation and universe as all mankind will continue to be brought into the holy of holies.

 

The kingdom of Christ.

 

The kingdom of God is endless; however, the kingdom of Christ is of the eons (eonian). A day will come when loud voices in heaven will declare that the kingdom of this world became our Lord’s and His Christ’s, and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons (Revelation 11.15 CV). The absolute reign of Christ that extends from the earth to the far reaches of the universe encompasses the oncoming eons.

 

The purpose of the eons is for God’s Son to head up all, and when He has accomplished this work, the Son will deliver the kingdom to God the Father, so that He may be All in all. The kingdom does not end at this point, but its character does change. All sovereignty, all authority and power will be nullified, and death will be abolished (see 1 Corinthians 15.20-28). Government as we know it will change as all creation becomes one family with one Father.

 

It appears that this truth is lost in a sea of confusion among the innumerable sermons preached throughout Christendom. We might be tempted to think that Christ’s abdication of the throne of the kingdom is something of a defeat, disgrace or abasement to Christ. Quite the contrary; it is the height of victory and for the greatest glory of God. If Christ does not give up the kingdom to God the Father, then His reign will not be a success, and He will have failed in His mission.

 

The purpose of the eons is for God to be All in all, and the accomplishment of this purpose has been given to the Son of God. His primary work is to head up all, so that God may be all. If the Son does not subject Himself to the Father, then He will not have accomplished the work that He has been given to do.

 

The Son’s desire is to do the will of His Father. Scripture is filled with the proof of this desire.

 

But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.” … “But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.” (John 5.17, 36 NASB)

 

Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these bear witness of Me.” (John 10.25 NASB)

 

“If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” (John 10.37-38 NASB)

 

“Father, glorify Thy name.” There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” (John 12.28 NASB)

 

“Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22.42 NASB)

 

When the Son was on earth, He finished the work His Father gave Him to do (John 17.4). He was obedient to the point of death on a cross. The finished work of the cross was and is an absolute success. When He finished this work, there was nothing more to do to bring salvation to all mankind. Consequently, when the work of heading up all for God is finished, there is nothing else to do. He cannot proceed beyond this work and be obedient to the will of God. When all is subjected to Him and death is abolished, then the work is finished, and He must give up the kingdom to the Father. In that glorious day, all mankind will be reconciled to God as well. Can you imagine anything more glorious than the Son of God bringing salvation and reconciliation to all mankind, so that God may be All in all?

 

Dear brethren, may the eyes of your heart be enlightened to see the glory of the work given to the Son and to come into the realization that all the saints of all eras will one day join Christ as He heads up all in the heavens and on the earth. When Christ has accomplished His work, the reign of all the saints who will have reigned with Christ will end as well.

 

And they shall be reigning for the eons of the eons. (Revelation 22.5 CV)

 

Let us not fear that all will end and we will cease when all is headed up in Christ. And of His kingdom there shall be no consummation (Luke 1.33 CV). Believers are on the leading edge of the greatest kingdom that mankind and all God’s creation have ever known, beginning with the eons of the eons and moving beyond the consummation of these eons into the magnificent, endless glory of God.

 

God has great things planned for those who love Him, and in the consummation, all will love Him, not out of coercion or force but out of true heart-felt love for the Father of all. Can you imagine anything greater than being bathed in the love of God and never again having to deal with sin and death? This is glory!

 

But there is great news for those who believe in this day; as new creations in Christ, the conquering believers of Christ will enter the kingdom of God in the next eon and experience that which all mankind will eventually experience. Today, we can only taste it, but then we will live it! Hallelujah!

 

Let us press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!

 

This is why Paul, in reference to the celestial kingdom, could declare: to Whom be glory for the eons of the eons. Let us also give the glory to God!

 

The eonian gospel.

 

In conclusion, there is one more matter related to the kingdom that is called the eonian evangel or gospel, which means “good news.” As our present eon comes to a close and the kingdom begins to descend upon this earth, the judgment of God will be brought to bear on the inhabitants of the earth.

 

John recorded in his Unveiling of Christ that an angel will fly in the mid-heaven of this earth and proclaim the good news for the eon to come, which sets the stage for the eons of the eons. Most translations refer to it as an eternal gospel, but this is not the proper translation of the Greek word aiōnion. It is the good news of the eonian kingdom of Christ.

 

And I perceived another messenger flying in mid-heaven, having an eonian evangel to bring to those situated on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and language and people, saying with a loud voice, “Be ye afraid of God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judging came; and worship the Maker of heaven and the land and the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14.6-7 CV)

 

So many people view the Revelation from the perspective of all the Hollywood hype of end-time events, but this is not how one should view this proclamation.

 

What is the purpose of the kingdom of God coming to this earth? What is the purpose of God’s judgments of the inhabitants of the earth in bringing in the kingdom? It is so that salvation will come to the nations, and all will come into the joy of the Lord, singing praises for His leading the nations in righteousness and justice. When the nations learn the ways of the Lord, His righteousness, they will sing praises to God, and the earth will yield its produce.

 

Please hear this: God’s judgment of the nations is a good thing. It is not for the purpose of destruction but of restoration, leading all the nations into righteousness and justice. Then, and only then, will the nations be at peace and know true joy and blessing.

 

For when the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26.9 NASB)

 

God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us―Selah. That Your way may be known on the earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You will judge the peoples with uprightness and guide the nations on the earth. Selah. Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You. The earth has yielded its produce; God, our God, blesses us. God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear Him. (Psalm 67.1-7 NASB)

 

This is the good news of the kingdom of God.



[1] For other Scriptures, see Deuteronomy 10.14; 32.39; Jeremiah 27.5, 6; Daniel 4.17.

[2] For other Scriptures, see  Judges 9.23; 1 Samuel 16.14, 15, 23; 18.10; 19.9; 2 Samuel 12.11, 12; 1 Kings 14.10; 21.29; 2 Kings 21.12;  2 Chronicles 34.24, 28; Proverbs 16.4; Isaiah 31.2; Jeremiah 11.11; 14.16; 18.11; 19.3, 15; 23.12; 26.3, 13; 32.42; 35.17; 36.3, 31; 40.2; 42.10, 17; 44.2; 45.5; 49.37; 51.64; Lamentations 3.38; Ezekiel 6.10; Amos 3.6; Micah 1.12; 2.3.

[3] In Scripture, the word sea can refer to nations. In these verses, sea most likely refers to the nations of the earth, over which Satan has exercised jurisdiction.

[4] Power and authority are two different matters. One who has power delegates authority. The one who has power is in control, simply because there is no one beyond the person with power. In like fashion, God is the Supreme, the ultimate power of the universe. He does not need authority, for He has the power. Consequently, He alone dispenses or delegates authority in His universe.

[5] In the Greek, heaven is in the plural and should read heavens. Unfortunately, most English translations do not use the plural form.

[6] The kingdom of the heavens and the kingdom of God are often synonymous in Scripture. See Matthew 19.23-24.

[7] In the history of the nations on the second earth, the average life span of the great civilizations that have arisen to date has been about 200 years.

[8] Yet Jesus said to them, “Verily, I am saying to you, that you who follow Me, in the renascence whenever the Son of Mankind should be seated on the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19.28 CV)