The Scriptures show the establishment of the Kingdom is to occur at the time of Christ’s return.  As the evidence already presented shows, Christ’s return was to occur at the time the temple would be destroyed. Jesus clearly shows in the Olivet Discourse that His return would occur before the generation He was addressing would pass.

       Luke 21:27-32: At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. He told them this parable: ‘Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.’ Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.

       In Matthew 13, we see Jesus giving a number of parables that speak of various aspects of the Kingdom. In explaining one of these parables to the disciples, He makes it evident that the establishment of the Kingdom is associated with the end of the age.  As already seen, the age spoken of by Jesus is an age that was to end in the generation He was addressing during His ministry.     

        Matthew 13:36-43: Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

               In 2 Timothy 4:1, Paul says to Timothy, “I charge thee therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall (is about to) judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom” (KJV).  The Greek word mello,” which is translated as “shall,” actually means, “is about to.” 

The Greek Word mello:

       On page 1038 of Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek Words, mello is defined as "to be about to be or do."  It is further defined as being used to express purpose, certainty, compulsion or necessity.  While the KJV renders Matthew 16:27 as "For the Son of Man shall (Greek: mello) come," Vines shows this to be better rendered as "For the Son of Man is about to come."  

       Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, on page 396, defines mello as "to be about to do anything” and “to be on the point of doing or suffering something."  The Arndt, Gingrich, Bauer Greek-English Lexicon defines mello as to "be on the point of, be about to."  This Lexicon defines mello in Romans 8:18 as, “be about to be revealed” in reference to the coming of Christ.  The Companion Bible by Bullinger also supports the above cited definitions of this word as does the English renderings of the various tenses of this word as seen at BibleHub.com. 

       Since the primary meaning of mello has to do with something about to happen, the Scriptures involving this word and the coming of Christ certainly imply imminency of his coming and therefore further substantiates a first century return. 

       The Kingdom appears at Christ’s appearing and at the time of the judgment.  This coincides with Matthew 24:30 where Jesus is seen as coming in power and glory in the generation being addressed in Matthew 24.  We know from Matthew 16:24-28 that the coming of Christ would take place while some of the disciples were still alive.  This places the establishment of the Kingdom in the first century.  The Kingdom was to be established with the coming of Christ.

       Matthew 16:27-28: For the Son of man shall (Gr. mello: “is about to") come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom (KJV). 

       In Part Four of this series, I discussed Christ's statement about some not tasting death until they see Him come in His Kingdom.  This statement makes perfect sense if we translate mello as indicated above.  In Wuest’s Expanded Translation of the Greek New Testament, he translates Matthew 16:27 as, “For the Son of Man is about to be coming in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He shall recompense to each one according to his manner of acting.” If Jesus was about to be coming which means He would be coming in a reasonably short period of time, then it would be obvious that some standing before Him would still be alive when He came.

       Here are a few more translations of Matthew 16:27 that render mello more in line with its defined meaning.

        For the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father, with His angels, and then He will give to each according to his deeds (Berean Literal Bible).

       For the Son of man is about to come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he will render to each according to his doings (Darby Bible Translation).

       For the Son of Man is soon to come in the glory of the Father with His angels, and then will He requite every man according to his actions (Weymouth New Testament).

       For, the Son of Man is about to come in the glory of his Father, with his messengers, and then he will reward each, according to his work (Young's Literal Translation).

       Luke quotes Jesus on this issue as well.

       Luke 21:36: Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall (Greek mello: is about to) come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (KJV).

        The word “shall” in this passage is the Greek mello and means “about to come to pass.” This “about to come to pass” would include all that is said prior to this statement and would therefore include the return of Christ.  Wuest translates this passage as follows: “But be circumspect, attentive, ready in every season being in prayer, in order that you have sufficient strength to be escaping all these things which are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of man.”

       There are 110 places where mello, in its various tenses, is used in the Greek New Testament. In many places, by context, it can be seen to mean something about to take place. Here are a few examples.

       Matthew 2:13: When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to (mello) search for the child to kill him.

       John 4:47: When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to (mello) death.

       John 6:15: Jesus, knowing that they intended (mello) to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.

        These Scriptures show how the New Testament writers understood and used the Greek mello in their dialog.  All these passages show imminency about what was to happen.  This word is used in many passages that relate to the coming of Christ, the judgment, the establishment of the Kingdom and the resurrection. The translation of mello as “about to take place” is certainly in keeping with the basic intent and usage of this Greek word by the writers of Scripture and as attested to in various lexicons and translations.  This is another strong piece of evidence relative to a first-century return of Christ and all related events.  Here are more examples of how this word supports a first-century fulfillment:

       Matthew 12:32: Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to (mello) come. [This can read, “age about to come.”]

       Romans 8:18: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be (mello) revealed in us. [This can read, “is about to be revealed in us.”]

       1st Peter 5:1: To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be (mello)  revealed” [This can read, “about to be revealed.”]

       Hebrews 1:14: Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will (mello) inherit salvation? [This can read, “who are about to inherit salvation.”]

       Hebrews 13:12-14: And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is (mello) to come. [This can read, “city that is about to come.”]

       Revelation 1:19: Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will (mello) take place later. [This can read, “what is about to take place later.” The “later” (hereafter in the KJV) is not a “later” to occur thousands of years in the future but a “later” that is about to happen. This shows that John was writing about soon to be accomplished events in the Revelation.]

       We find in Acts 11:28 that the prophet Agabus signified that a great famine would (mello) come upon the Roman world.  This Scripture shows that this famine happened during the reign of Claudius.  Here we find the writer using mello in an obvious context of something that was about to take place and did take place as the Scriptures report and as secular history confirms.  In Acts 20:3 it’s recorded that “Because the Jews made a plot against him (Paul) just as he was about to (mello) sail for Syria, he decided to go back through Macedonia." Again, we see mello used by the writer to describe an about to occur event.

      In Acts 27:10, Paul is quoted as saying, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going (mello) to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.”  Here again we see mello used in the context of something about to occur.  We see mello used several dozen times in the book of Acts. A review of the context wherein this word is used will over and over again show an event that was about to take place and subsequently did take place.  Yet when it comes to Paul’s use of this word in Acts 24:15, it is automatically assumed to relate to an event that has yet to take place, thousands of years from the time Paul spoke. Let’s look at this Scripture:

Acts 24:15:

       In Acts 24:15, we read the following: “and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be (mello) a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” [This can read, “that there is about to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked”].  Futurists see this statement by Paul as pointing to a return of Christ in the distant future from the time Paul made this statement. Is such a conclusion warranted?

       Author Samuel Frost shows mello in this passage to be a “present infinitive with the copulative in the future,” (The Millennial Post, December 1, 2003).   Mr. Frost points out that the Greek in this passage shows the same grammatical construction that is seen in Acts 11:28 and Acts 27:10, as cited above.  Paul was saying that the resurrection was about to take place in the same sense as Agabus was saying a famine was about to take place.  These were events that would take place soon after they were prophesied. 

       It is instructive that BibleHub.com renders the Greek phrase mellein esesthai seen in Acts 24:15 into English as "there is about to be." In the Luke 21:36 passage discussed above, the Greek phrase is mellonta ginesthai which is rendered by BibleHub as "are about to come to pass."  In Acts 17:31, Paul writes "he (God) has set a day when he will (Greek: mello) judge the world" through Christ. BibleHub renders this passage as "he is about to judge the world." In 2nd Timothy 4:1, Paul writes “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will (Greek μέλλοντος (mellontos) judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge."  BibleHub renders "will" as “being about to.”

       The various tenses of mello as seen in the Greek NT are consistently rendered into English as something about to occur by the BibleHub translators. It is obvious they understand the intent of this Greek word and are translating it accordingly. 

       In Acts 24:24-25 Paul is seen as addressing Felix and his wife Drusilla. Felix was the  Governor of Caesarea at the time.  Felix responds in fear to what Paul was telling him.

       Acts 24:24-25: Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to (mellontos) [Could be rendered "about to come."] come, Felix was afraid and said, “That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.”

       It should be apparent that Felix understood Paul to be talking about a judgement about to come and it is this that caused him to react in fear. The Greek word rendered "fear" is ἔμφοβος (emphobos) and means to be terrified and affrighted (Thayer's Greek Lexicon). Felix wouldn't have been frightened if he understood Paul to be speaking of a judgement to occur thousands of years into the future.

       In Hebrews 10:26-27, the writer says “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will (Greek: μέλλοντος) consume the enemies of God.” The Greek of verse 27 reads as follows: φοβερὰ δέ τις ἐκδοχὴ κρίσεως καὶ πυρὸς ζῆλος ἐσθίειν μέλλοντος τοὺς ὑπεναντίουςμέλλοντος is a tense of the Greek mello.  This passage is saying that the judgement and raging fire was about to consume the enemies of God. Here are a few other translations from the Greek to the English of this passage.

       Young’s Literal Translation: " but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery zeal, about to devour the opposers."

       Berean Literal Bible: "but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment and fury of fire being about to devour the adversaries."

       Weymouth New Testament: "There remains nothing but a certain awful expectation of judgement, and the fury of a fire which before long will devour the enemies of the truth."

       Paul mentions a person by the name of Clement in Philippians 4:3. Some theologians believe this is the Cement that wrote the epistle to the Corinthians church called 1st Clement.  It is instructive that both Paul (1Corinthians 16:17) and Clement (1Clement 65:1) mention a fellow worker named Fortunatus. If Paul’s Fortunatus is the same as Clement’s Fortunatus this would tell us that Clement wrote his epistle around the time Paul wrote his  which we know was prior to AD 70. 

       While this epistle is not in our present canon of NT scripture (it was included in some early canons of scripture), it appears to have been written prior to the events of AD 70. The writer speaks of the sacrifices and offerings at the temple showing the temple to be still standing at the time of his writing.

       1Clem 41:1-2:  Let each of you, brethren, in his own order give thanks unto God, maintaining a good conscience and not transgressing the appointed rule of his service, but acting with all seemliness. Not in every place, brethren, are the continual daily sacrifices offered, or the freewill offerings, or the sin offerings and the trespass offerings, but in Jerusalem alone. And even there the offering is not made in every place, but before the sanctuary in the court of the altar; and this too through the high priest and the afore said ministers, after that the victim to be offered hath been inspected for blemishes.

       Here are some additional quotes from this epistle that show the pre-AD 70 nature of this epistle. Note how the Greek word mello is used to show something about to occur

       1Clement: 24:1 Let us consider, dear friends, how the Master continually points out to us the resurrection about to be (Greek: mello) of which he made the Lord Jesus Christ the first fruit when he raised him from the dead.

       1Clement: 28:1 Since, therefore, all things are seen and heard, let us fear him and abandon the abominable lusts that spawn evil works, in order that we may be shielded by his mercy from the judgments about to be (Greek: mello).

       1Clement 35:4: Let us therefore contend, that we may be found in the number of those that patiently await Him, to the end that we may be partakers of His promised gift.      

       1Clement: 42:3 Having therefore received their orders and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and full of faith in the word of God, [the apostles] went forth with the firm assurance that the Holy Spirit gives, preaching the good news that the kingdom of God was about to come (Greek: mello).

       1Clement 23:5: Of a truth quickly and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, the scripture also bearing witness to it, saying He shall come quickly and shall not tarry; and the Lord shall come suddenly into His temple, even the Holy One, whom ye expect.

       Here in 1st Clement, we see mello being used to show something about to occur.       

       In view of the foregoing discussion, there is absolutely no grammatical or contextual reason to believe that mello has suddenly changed its meaning in Acts 24:15. There is no legitimate way one can justify interpreting Paul’s statement about resurrection to relate to an event thousands of years into the future and counting.  Whatever it was that Paul meant by “resurrection” in this passage, he was seeing it as something about to take place.  We will deal extensively with the issue of resurrection later in this series.


       The Scriptures we have reviewed all point to the Kingdom having arrived with the return of Christ in the events connected with the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem during the Roman-Jewish War.  This was a spiritual event insomuch that Christ didn’t visibly appear, but facilitated events that clearly reflected what He prophesied in the Olivet Discourse, the Revelation and numerous other sayings.  The NT pictures the Kingdom as having spiritual dynamics presently available to those who are willing to accept them and live by them.  The Kingdom is also seen as being the destination for life after physical death. For an elucidation of the Kingdom being both spiritual in nature and the destination for life after death, go to "What is the Kingdom of God: Part Two."

       Some would challenge the position that the Kingdom is a spiritual reality in the life of a Christian.  This challenge sees Christianity as being hopelessly divided and having been so for two-thousand years.   Many who think of themselves as Christians live lives that belie that conclusion. The great majority of humans who have lived and died since Christ appeared have not been Christian but of some non-Christian religion or no religion at all.  The history of the world has been one of violence, war, pain and suffering since the appearance of Christ.   What kind of Kingdom is that?  According to the Scriptures, the establishment of the Kingdom involves the putting down of Satan.  It would appear that Satan is doing quite well in this world, and if there is anyone that could be identified as king of the earth, it would have to be Satan and not Christ.

       Our challenger may state the following: If the tenets of the Kingdom are within the heart of the Christian, then the behavior of the Christian should reflect that.  If we are to postulate that the Kingdom of God is here and now, and is made up of the community of believers in Christ, why is it that this community of believers is so divided as to their doctrinal belief systems and the manner in which they practice (and often fail to practice) Christianity?  The Scripture itself states, “a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.”  It is certainly apparent that the Christian community is very divided not only in its doctrinal and theological understanding but also in its moral and ethical behavior.  Seeing this has been the case for the past two-thousand years and continues to be the case, how does this fact correlate with the position that the Kingdom of God is here now?  While there is sound Scriptural evidence for understanding that the Kingdom is a present spiritual reality, there appears little correlation between that understanding and the actual state of affairs extant in the Christian community.

       The challenger will go on to show that there are a variety of Scriptures in both Old and New Testaments that suggest that the Kingdom of God represents a time of peace, joy and tranquility.  Even if one were to totally spiritualize these passages and apply them to Christians, a reality check would quickly dispel the idea that such peace, joy and tranquility exist in any significant way within the Christian community. Physical, emotional, social and spiritual problems are rampant in the Christian community.  What kind of Kingdom is that?

       On the surface, this appears as a valid challenge to the Kingdom in any form being a present reality.  Apostle Paul said the Kingdom is "righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 14:17).  Such Kingdom attributes seem to be sadly lacking in the lives of many who call themselves Christian. The problem with this challenge is that it is partly based on a wrong understanding of what the Kingdom is.  The Kingdom has to do with being born of the spirit as Christ told Nicodemus.  Being born of the spirit isn’t something you see physically.  It can and should have outward manifestation in righteous living, but it is a spiritual phenomenon.  Christians today, as did the Jews of the first century, expect a physical Kingdom.  Christians often look to a future return of Christ to set up a world ruling government headquartered in Jerusalem where a rebuilt temple will stand as Christ’s residence.  The Scriptures, however, speak of a new order of things occurring near to the time the Revelation was given to John.

       Revelation 21:1-8: Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’ He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ He said to me: ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars-their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.’

       Revelation 22:10-15: Then he told me, ‘Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.’ ‘Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. ‘Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.’

       John is told not to seal up the words of this prophecy because the time was near.  John sees, prophetically, the passing of the old earth and heavens.  He sees the new heavens and the new earth coming into view.  The replacement of the old heavens and earth with a new heavens and earth relates to the passing of the Old Covenant system of death and the establishment of the New Covenant system of life represented by the tree of life.  This will be explained in detail later on in this series.  It is this change in covenants that is the focus of the end of the age events discussed in Scripture.

      In Revelation 22, we again see the imminency of the events being discussed.  The prophecy is not to be sealed, because the time was near.   This passage also shows that the unrighteous will still exist but will be outside the city, which represents the Kingdom.  The unrighteous continue to live in a state of spiritual degeneracy while those that have accepted Christ are invited to partake of the tree of life and enter the Kingdom.

      It is interesting that the same Christians who believe that the Kingdom is future, will also believe that they are led by God’s Spirit in the here and now.  If the Spirit of God is indeed present in the life of Christians, one would expect that “spiritual” living should be obvious.  Yet the same reality check that some feel challenges the presence of the Kingdom, would also challenge the presence of the Spirit.  The same spiritual, emotional, physical and social problems that are evident for those who believe in the presence of the Kingdom are also in evidence for those who believe they have God’s Spirit and yet believe the Kingdom to be future.  Since Christians who claim to have God’s Spirit dwelling in them still have behavioral problems, are we to conclude that they don’t have God’s Spirit?  I don’t believe that very many Christians would endorse that idea.    

       I submit that having God’s Spirit and being in the Kingdom are one and the same.  We need to consider how the Kingdom of God applies to us.  The Christ event destroyed death in that while we physically/biologically die, we can continue to live beyond such death.  Upon physical death we are given a new kind of body.  The natural body which is a physical body of the earth is replaced with a spiritual body which is from heaven (1 Corinthians 15: 42-50)

       Before we physically die, we can have eternal life resident with in us. The acceptance of Christ facilitates the passing from death unto life in that the eternal life facilitated by the Christ event is seeded within us and upon physical death facilitates the transformation to a new dimension of life. As Paul wrote, death has been swallowed up in victory through Christ.  The righteousness of Christ applied to the Christian is what facilitates our passing from death unto life.  Christ said we must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom.  Being born again is passing from death unto life and is the spiritual process by which upon physical death we will enter into the heavenly realm where the seat of governing authority for the Kingdom is located.

      God sees us as righteous and therefore as being in the Kingdom.  Our challenge is to more fully recognize this and conduct ourselves accordingly.  Such conduct, however, will never even be close to perfect.  To think that it is our conduct that will qualify us for acceptance with God is to return to the Old Covenant system of attainment through works.  It is this very system that Christ came to destroy through His death, resurrection and return.

      The Old Covenant system of death has been destroyed.  Christ did return as He said.  His return has facilitated life through the termination of the old and the establishment of the new.  Jesus said in Revelation 21, as quoted above, “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

        Everything is made new in Christ.  In Christ there is no more death, mourning, crying or pain. The Christian can be confident that spiritually he has passed from death unto life where there is peace and joy. Physically, there will continue to be troubles, pain, suffering and death.  These physical realities of life are not the measurement of being in the Kingdom.  Being in the Kingdom involves our spiritual relationship with God.  That spiritual relationship is what will determine how we handle the troubles, pain, suffering and death of this physical life.  Christ was the embodiment of the Kingdom.  Yet Christ, while in the flesh, experienced trouble, pain, suffering and physical death.  It was Christ’s spiritual relationship with God that enabled Him to deal with all of this and rise above the physical. 

       The Christians of the first century were in the process of entering the Kingdom.  Paul told the Colossian Christians that they were being ushered into the Kingdom.  Yet these Colossians continued to experience the persecutions and sufferings associated with this physical life.  The Kingdom is of the spirit, not of the flesh.  The Kingdom has to do with how we handle the difficulties of this physical life.  It is not defined by the absence of such difficulties.

       Christ plainly told Pilate that His Kingdom was not of this world (John 18:36).  The Greek word kosmos is used for world.  This word pertains to the physical realm.  Kosmos means the world as created, ordered and arranged (See appendix 129 of the Companion Bible).  Christ plainly said His Kingdom was not of this physical realm, this world as created, ordered and arranged.

       Christians want to define the Kingdom in a physical context.  It can’t be defined that way.  God is growing a spiritual Kingdom of individuals who are willing to submit to his will.  This involves two things. First there must be repentance which is a willingness to change and pursue righteous behavior.  Second there must be acceptance of and reliance on the sacrifice of Christ to atone for unrighteous behavior, which is sin.  It is these two dynamics that constitute being born into the everlasting Kingdom.

       Since the Kingdom is a present spiritual reality for the Christian, the Christian can have a very positive impact on the physical world we live in.  By living in a manner reflective of the law of the Kingdom, Christians can make the world a better place to live out our physical lives.  In this respect, it is not so much a matter of our being in the Kingdom as it is a matter of the Kingdom being in us.  It should be the goal of Christians to be proactive in sharing the message of the Kingdom.  In so doing, God’s Kingdom will continue to expand as increasing numbers of individuals are born into the Kingdom and pass from death unto life.

       This all being said about the Kingdom, what are we to make of Scripture that on the surface appears to identify the Kingdom as a physical entity here on planet earth.

       There are a number of passages in Scripture that speak of a Kingdom being established that will supersede all other kingdoms and will last forever. Isaiah writes of a child being born who will have the government upon his shoulders and who will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom forever (Isaiah 9:6-7). Since David ruled over a physical kingdom involving government, subjects and land, it would appear Isaiah is talking about someone who will reign in like manner.

       Revelation 12:5 speaks of this child becoming a king who will rule all nations with a rod of Iron. In Revelation 2 Jesus is seen as addressing the angel of the church at Thyatira and telling them they with Him will rule over nations with a rod of iron.  In Revelation 12:15 the Son of God is seen as ruling the nations with a rod of iron.

       In Daniel 2:31-45, Daniel writes of a succession of earthly kingdoms which will be replaced by God setting up a Kingdom that will never be destroyed.   Daniel prophesied that the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms of this world will be handed over to the saints and that God’s Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom and all rulers will worship and obey Him (Daniel 7:28).  Since the context is the replacement of earthly kingdoms with the Kingdom of God, Many Christians conclude that the Kingdom of God will be a physical Kingdom with a governing authority located on this earth.

       There is a succession of four earthly kingdoms enumerated in Daniel 2.  As discussed elsewhere in this series, the fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire. Daniel dates the appearance of the Kingdom of God to the time of this fourth kingdom.  This virtually dates the appearing of the Kingdom of God to the first century AD. It would appear to be an earthly kingdom that Daniel is talking about. Yet no such earthly Kingdom was established in the first century AD.  Jesus plainly said his Kingdom was not of this world.

       In Daniel 7:13-14, we see Daniel writing of one like a son of man appearing before the Ancient of Days who gives this son of man authority and sovereign power to rule all peoples and nations. His dominion is said to be an everlasting dominion that will not pass away.  His Kingdom is one that is seen as never being destroyed.  The language of this passage appears to speak of a traditional type of kingdom involving a king exercising power and authority over nations and peoples.

       In Isaiah 11, the prophet speaks of a time when a descendant of Jesse (father of David) will appear and facilitate the restoration of Israel.  This prophecy speaks of a time when even animals that are generally antagonistic to one another will live together in peace.  Christians often see this prophecy as predictive of Christ establishing an earthly kingdom although this prophecy doesn’t speak of the Kingdom and its context suggests a past event.

        The Jews of Jesus day were familiar with the 70 weeks prophecy recorded in Daniel chapter nine.  They were able to calculate from this prophecy the approximate time when the promised Messiah was to appear.  Their calculations showed that the time of the Messiah’s appearing was at hand in the first century AD. Expectations were high that the promised Messiah was about to appear.  However, their understanding was that this Messiah would deliver them from Roman rule in reestablishing the Davidic Kingdom.

       Taken at face value, the Scriptures cited above appear to be discussing a physical kingdom here on planet earth involving ruling over physical nations. It is also evident from the Scriptures that this Kingdom was expected to appear at the time Jesus appeared in the first century AD. 

       Obviously, such a physical Kingdom was not established in the first century and hasn’t been established during the past 2000 years and counting. If we are to insist that the Scriptural references to the Kingdom are references to a physical Kingdom established here on planet earth, we have to conclude this is a yet future event.

       However, as already covered in this series, there are multiple dozens of statements in the NT that clearly show the return of Christ and establishment of the Kingdom to be an event to occur in the life time of first century Christians.  If this didn’t happen, we have a major problem with the integrity of the Biblical Scriptures.   

       Since a first century return of Christ and a first century establishment of the Kingdom is the pervasive message of the NT, we have no choice but to see passages that appear to speak of a physical kingdom as actually speaking in metaphoric/figurative language of a spiritual kingdom. Anything less than this creates severe cognizant dissonance and makes the Scriptures irreconcilable

       For an in-depth examination of what the Kingdom is and how one enters it, I refer you to my Five Part series entitled, What Is The Kingdom of God?   To continue with this series on the return of Christ, go to part nine.